KABUL, June 6 (TNS) “We will not let Taliban take down the Afghan government “said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani officially opened the Kabul Process meeting on Tuesday and said Afghanistan was on the frontline of terrorism in the world.
Extending an olive branch to the Taliban, Ghani said if the group is prepared to join peace negotiations, he will allow them to open an office. However, this was their last chance, Ghani said.
He said the government was committed to fighting terrorism but that it wants to build strong political and economic ties with all neighboring countries.
He asked: “What will it take to convince Pakistan that a stable Afghanistan helps them and helps our region?” “Our problem, our challenge, is that we cannot figure out what it is that Pakistan wants,” he said. He said Taliban sponsored terrorism is creating a platform that is bringing terrorists from all over the region to Afghanistan.
This comes after the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Monday said the explosives used in Wednesday’s deadly truck bombing near Kabul’s Zanbaq Square were from Pakistan. “Pakistan is the key planner of this incident like in the past, but our security team is investigating the incident and these investigations have not been completed,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.
Ghani pointed out to delegates attending the meeting that 75,000 Afghans were killed or wounded in 2015 and 2016. He also said that in the past two years, 11,000 foreign fighters have come in to Afghanistan to fight for Daesh.
Delegates from 23 nations and the European Union, the United Nations and NATO are attending the two day meeting. The Kabul Process meeting started off however with a minute’s silence for victims of recent terror attacks. Much of Kabul remains in lockdown ahead of the conference, with tighter than usual security including more armed checkpoints and armored vehicles patrolling the streets, and tight restrictions on civilian traffic.
Representatives of around 25 countries, including Pakistan, India, China and the US, along with European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, are attending the meeting, which aims to build international support on ways to restore security in the conflict-torn country.