Ghani Officially Opens Kabul Process Meeting

Ghani Officially Opens Kabul Process Meeting

Ghani Officially Opens Kabul Process Meeting

One of the most bloody weeks in Kabul for months began with the devastating truck bomb attack in the city's diplomatic zone on May 31, killing more than 80 people and wounded at least 460.

While Afghan governing partners are locked in political confrontation, the state intelligence agency (NDS) has accused the Haqqani network, a key Taliban ally, of plotting Wednesday's suicide bombing in cooperation with Pakistan's spy agency (ISI).

The death toll from a devastating truck bomb in Kabul's diplomatic quarter last week has jumped to more than 150, President Ashraf Ghani told an global peace conference in the capital on Tuesday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said neighboring Pakistan has instigated an "undeclared war of aggression" against his nation after repeated bombings in Kabul in the past week, including the deadliest attack on the capital in 16 years.

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 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are attending the two day meeting to discuss the current Afghan situation.

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Ghani made no clear new initiatives at the peace talks but said the government was ready to meet with the Taliban anywhere and would agree to their opening an official office where representatives of both sides could convene.

"Signing mutual non-interference or anti-terror support agreements won't change anything", said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, noting that similar accords had been signed in the past.

His statement came after the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed that the explosives used in lastWednesday's bombing were from Pakistan.

"We're fighting 20 transnational terrorist groups on your behalf", Ghani said.

This is the first of its kind worldwide meeting being held at the initiative of the Afghan President aimed at bringing the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan to an end.

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Ghani told the diplomats attacks in Afghanistan were part of the violence that had struck foreign cities around the world, most recently in London, where three militants drove a van into pedestrians on Saturday before attacking people with knives.

In his welcome address, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani confirmed the death toll in the truck bombing had risen sharply, from 90 to 150; over 300 others remain injured. He said that up to 11,000 foreign militants had allegedly arrived in Afghanistan in the last two years to fight for Daesh.

Delegates from 23 nations and the European Union, the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are attending the two day meeting.

"Special" Corps Commanders Conference presided over by Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called for Afghanistan to introspect and not allege Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism. He told me that from the government to an ordinary person on the street, Afghans consider Pakistan to be the perpetrator of chaos and anarchy in their country.

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