Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Afghan President Ghani gives Taliban ultimatum

The recent attacks, claiming more than 90 lives, were attributed to the Haqqani Network.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior Affairs on Tuesday said a terrorist attack targeting the Great Mosque of Herat killed at least seven people and injured 16 others.

That was followed by three blasts on Saturday at a funeral attended by politicians, including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with Ghani and escaped unharmed.

The death toll has jumped to more than 150 people, while over 300 wounded were brought to hospitals, many with burns and amputations, Ghani told the conference. The forum concluded that instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look inward and identify the real issues.

"This would be a danger for the entire world".

Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington's so-called war on terror in 2001. Many are skeptical that more soldiers will defeat the Taliban, which an earlier and larger troop surge under Barack Obama's administration failed to do.

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He spoke of his desire to make peace with the Taliban.

As of late a year ago, the Taliban contest or control about 40 percent of the country.

"Afghanistan is now doing badly both in the fighting and in its civilian politics, governance, and poverty", Anthony Cordesman, a defence analyst with the Washington-based Center For Strategic and International Studies, said in a report on Monday.

"Time is running out. this is the last chance: take it or face consequences".

While offering peace talks to the Islamist insurgency, Ghani reiterated his preconditions, including recognition of the Afghan constitution, continuity of the reforms of educating and advancing the rights of women, and renunciation of violence and linkages with terrorist groups. Pakistan is fighting a crucial war against terrorism and it is unfortunate than Afghanistan rather than to support Pakistan in this war always alleges Pakistan to be involved in terror attacks in Afghanistan.

Ghani said at the conference that if the Taliban did not begin negotiations soon, he would seek new sanctions against the group as a sponsor of terrorism.

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In the last two years, 11,000 foreign fighters have arrived in Afghanistan to fight for Islamic State, he said, while more than 75,000 Afghans have been killed or wounded in 2015 and 2016.

The Corps Commander Conference was held in which matters pertaining to regional security were discussed.

The developments come as the two nations have also engaged in a series of deadly cross-border clashes this year.

In addition, Pakistan military also said in a statement that Ghani's accusations and threats were "unwarranted".

Representatives from 25 countries and alliances, including the U.S., Russia, China, India, Pakistan, NATO and European Union are at the Kabul Initiative Peace and Security Cooperation conference that aims to find an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" resolution of the decades-long conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

Ghani added that Afghanistan's other Asian neighbors must also play a role.

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