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Ghani Officially Opens Kabul Process Meeting
19 June 2017, 01:19 | Opal Carroll
Ghani Officially Opens Kabul Process Meeting
The Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said on Thursday that early findings showed the Haqqani network with the assistance of Pakistan's ISI carried out the attack in Kabul that killed at least 90 people.
But with domestic political tension high, global plans in flux, and the insurgency as powerful as ever, starting any peace process may be an uphill battle. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which sparked violent anti-government protests. The explosion killed more than 150 people and wounded more than 450. "In the past there has been a misperception that this was 'America's War, ' " he said.
Pakistan's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz in a statement on Sunday said he "strongly rejected the baseless and unfounded allegations" that Pakistan had any involvement with the May 31 bombing. The worsening security situation necessitates cooperation between Afghan political forces, regional stakeholders and the global community.
Since the worldwide military mission declared an end to its combat mission in 2014, the Taliban have made steady gains.
The radical Islamist movement, made up largely ethnic Pashtuns, still controls or influences almost 40 percent of the country, proving their resiliency 16 years after a US-led invasion of the country.
He told the meeting it was time for the Taliban to embrace peace or "face the consequences". "The forum also concluded that instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look inward and identify the real issues", said a statement issued after the meeting. "It's always Afghans that are harmed and get killed, rather than who the attacker wants to target".
The last significant peace effort foundered in 2015 when news broke that long-time Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had died.
The Trump administration and military commanders are debating whether to send up to 5,000 more troops to stem the government's losses.
He said Pakistan and Afghanistan have strong bonds of religion, culture, history and geography and the people and the government of the Pakistan have always stood with the people of Afghanistan in their hard times.
Ghani stated this while addressing a multinational peace conference hosted by Afghanistan in Kabul, adding that they were ready to allow Taliban to open their office to hold negotiations.
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