Ghani toughens stance on rebels, warns Pakistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Monday warned that he would lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) if Pakistan refuses to take military action against Taliban leaders operating from its soil.
“If we do not see a change, despite our hopes and efforts for regional cooperation, we will be forced to turn to the UN Security Council and launch serious diplomatic efforts,” Ghani told a rare joint sitting of the parliament.
The president asked Pakistan to act as a “responsible government” and launch military operations against Taliban and its allies and warned if Islamabad didn’t do so, Kabul was willing to bring the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
“I want to make it clear that we do not expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to talks,” Ghani said.
He said in quadrilateral talks over the past year that involved the United States and China, Pakistan had pledged “in writing” to go after Taliban leaders who refuse to join the peace process.
He said militants hell-bent on fighting and refusing to accept the Afghan Constitution would not be invited to the peace talks.
The president said Afghan security forces would fight anti-state elements and the government had decided to end unnecessary clemency for rebels and follow decisions of courts against terrorists.
Recalling a recent devastating truck bombing in Kabul, Ghani said: “Our citizens once again witnessed a bloody incident in which scores of countrymen lost their precious lives. The Taliban once again spread horror among people and it was not their first inhuman act.”
Ghani said true Taliban were those who studied in seminaries and those who staged terrorist attacks were enemies of seminary students.
The president said the enemy wanted to force the Afghan government into announcing an emergency situation in the country, but the government would not curtail the freedom of people as guaranteed by the Constitution of the country.
He asked religious scholars to teach Taliban real teachings of Islam and prevent them from pursuing the wrong path.
Ghani said the Afghan conflict was not an internal war and terrorism had allies and friends in the region and their aim was to spread terror and fear among people of Afghanistan.
He said the Taliban and the Haqqani Network were proxies of other countries and wanted to push Afghanistan and its people back to the Stone Age. “But we should stand united against these forces.”
According to the president, the international community, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Nations, Asian and European countries, the US, China, Japan, Canada and Australia condemned the recent Kabul bombing an unforgivable act and the Taliban had isolated themselves more with the recent heinous bombing.
He said the Taliban had nothing positive to present it to the nation and they had displayed their lack of political maturity, wisdom and competence.
He said last year the government strived hard for peace and worked to strengthen the country’s defence to protect its people from an undeclared war on Afghanistan.
Ghani called the insurgents terrorists who “take pleasure in the torn-up bodies of our innocents,” and their leaders “slavelike” and involved in narcotics mafias. He called as the enemy of Afghanistan groups like Daesh, Haqqani Network and some elements within Taliban ranks.
“I also expect Pakistan if it can’t conduct operations against criminals, it should kindly hand them over to our court system to punish them,” he said.
As relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were based on legal framework and mutual responsibilities, the Afghan government expected the country not to differentiate between good and bad terrorists and extremists and rather act responsibly, he said, adding there was no bad and good terrorism.
“Afghan people especially ulema support our security and defence forces. We have clear programmes to eliminate the Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” he said.
“The time for clemency has gone and the Afghan government is committed to enforcing the verdicts of courts and judicial departments. You might see those who rejected peace talks would plead for peace.”
He said his government was committed to fighting corruption and bringing reforms and holding elections as scheduled. “Corruption is a weak point of our government and is used by enemies to weaken the military and mission ability of Afghan forces.”
Ghani hoped terrorists in Afghanistan would be defeated this year, saying the Afghan forces had become stronger and improved over the past 13 months and some Islamic countries and China, Russia, Australia, Japan, Canada, India and NATO were supporting the Afghan forces.
The president asked the parliament to support the government especially security organs in preventing corruption and brining reforms in the country and should not support those misusing their duties and positions.
Ghani insisted on strengthening the judiciary and independence of courts, saying they would pay more attention to security of judges.
The efforts of the government for improving economic condition of the government and creating work opportunities would continue.
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