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This is last chance for Taliban, says Ghani

This is last chance for Taliban, says Ghani

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On
Jun 06, 2017 - 17:34

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday said the Afghan government was ready to allow the Taliban to open an office in Kabul, but made it clear that this was the last chance for the rebels to join peace talks.

Inaugurating the Kabul Process conference here, the president said the aim of the meeting was to strike and show solidarity against terrorism, barbarism and move towards a fair peace.

“Finding a roadmap to peace in this complex valley of the world is not a simple job,” he said.

He said the war in Afghanistan had many dimensions and targeting small parts of terrorism would not work until a specific framework was created for resolving the phenomenon, Ghani said.

“The world should support us in responding to this threat, we are gathered here today because the international community has pledged it would not tolerate terrorism and countries supporting it. We today want the world to be committed to its pledges against terrorism,” he added.

He said everything was on the table and the national unity government wanted to start work on peace negotiations. “The location of peace negotiations maybe any place both sides can agree on, it maybe in Kabul or elsewhere, we would finally develop a roadmap for peace that both sides should agree on,” the president said.

Ghani said the Afghan government had suggested peace because the current chance might not exist forever.

He asked the Taliban to stop fighting and accept the Constitution, let the women get education and cut ties with terrorist groups.

“The government will allow the Taliban to open their office,” he said.

He said the chance was losing and Afghanistan would finally reject the Taliban, stressing this was the last chance for the Taliban to join the peace process otherwise they would be destroyed.

“Terrorism is not the enemy of Afghanistan only, it is the enemy of the entire world,” he said. Citing an example, he said 22 people were killed and 12 others wounded in a suicide attack in Manchester city of Britain about three weeks ago. “Terrorists are merciless to anyone.”

The president said more than 75,000 Afghans were killed or wounded only between 2015 and 2016.

“Our people want good life for their children, but our economic situation could not be improved with increasing violence, people suffer from joblessness and disappointment…the country is full of mourning mothers and widows, so there is no question that we want peace,” he added.

Ghani said the international community had been unable to overcome all dimensions of terrorism. The UN recorded a surge in violence, but the global response to the challenge had been slow and inadequate, he remarked.

He noted the level of cooperation had improved, but frameworks, tools and necessary measures for identification and eradication of terrorist activities needed to be put in place.

The president, while talking about relations with Pakistan, said: “We want peace with Pakistan, we want to be able to trust Pakistan, we want a chance of cooperation between the two countries so both the neighbors develop and reduce poverty.”

“This remains a challenge that Afghanistan does not know what Pakistan wants? Ghani asked, saying Afghanistan was trying to make Pakistan believe that a stable Afghanistan was also in interest of Pakistan and the region.

“We once again ask Pakistan to present its agenda and mechanism for negotiations and finding a way to peace,” he said.

The first meeting of Kabul Process held with participation of representatives from 25 countries and international organizations amid tight security measures in Kabul today.

The government said that clear vision of the conference was peace establishment and fighting terrorism.

Deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said: “Despite more than 600 people suffered casualties in deadly recent attacks in Kabul, presence of foreign delegates in this meeting on supporting peace and stability shows that concerns about terrorism exist on international level.”

He said terrorism damaged peace, stability and security in the word and posed a great threat to all countries. The recent incidents in Kabul, Manchester, Saint Petersburg and other parts of the world had created concerns for the entire world, Karzai said.

“We all know that terrorism knows no borders, there is a need for joint cooperation among all countries in eradicating this phenomenon,” he said.

Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani boycotted the meeting after the government rejected Jamiat-I-Islami Afghanistan (JIA) demands. Rabbani is the leader of JIA party.

mds/ma

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