New Delhi: India has condemned the dastardly terror attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul.
Through a statement released on Wednesday by the External Affairs Ministry, India has conveyed in categorical terms that “such cowardly attacks on the places of religious worship of the minority community, especially at this time of COVID 19 pandemic, is reflective of the diabolical mindset of the perpetrators and their backers”.
Government of India has conveyed sincerest condolences to the immediate family members of the deceased and wished speedy recovery to the injured. India has also reiterated that it stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the affected families of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan.
India has commended the brave Afghan security forces for their valorous response to the attack and their exemplary courage and dedication to protect the Afghan people and secure the country.
India has reiterated that the nation stands in solidarity with the people, the Government and the security forces of Afghanistan in their efforts for bringing peace and security to the country.
Kabul: A suicide bomb attack at a minority Hazara ethnic community wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, has left 63 people dead.
An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said ISIS has claimed responsibility for the dastardly terror attack.
ISIS has identitied the Kabul wedding hall bomber as ‘Abu Asim Al-Pakistani, according to available reports.
The Kabul terror attack comes two days after the US President Donald Trump had tweeted: “Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!”
Sunday’s terror attack comes when everyone in Afghanistan and the Kabul watchers are talking of a peace deal with Taliban and a pull out of US troops.
Kabul : Today’s meeting in Islamabad could revive a talk process that disrupted last summer, after Afghanistan announced that Mullah Mohammad Omar, founder and leader of the Taliban, had died in a Pakistani hospital more than two years ago. That announcement had forced the Taliban to pull out of the talks after just one meeting hosted by Islamabad. What followed was a subsequent power struggle within the Taliban which had strongly raised questions about who would represent the insurgents if and when the talks with Kabul are restarted.
Analysts do stand skeptical on the revival of talks and seem to suggest with a deep amount of caution that despite the rapprochement between Kabul and Islamabad, any substantive peace talks appear to be a distant reality, and would likely be still many months off. Pakistan’s relations with Kabul had been tense in past times in recent months, and war of words have flown from both sides as the two countries have long accused each other of backing the Taliban and other insurgents operating along their porous border.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani participated in a regional conference last month in Islamabad, which called for the resumption of the Afghan-Taliban peace negotiations. To lay a warm carpet of invite, Ghani was given a warm welcome at the meeting, which was also attended by US and Chinese representatives.
The meeting today revolves around the agenda where Pakistan is expected to present a list of Talibanis willing to negotiate with Kabul at a meeting this week aimed at reviving the Afghan peace process, as confirmed by an afghan official last evening. Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States are scheduled to meet in Islamabad today to discuss a road map for peace talks. The meeting will not include the Taliban.
Javid Faisal, deputy spokesman for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, said that Pakistan’s list will include Taliban who do and do not want talks with Kabul on ending the 15-year war. Earlier, Pakistan had agreed to cut off financial support to Taliban fighters based in Pakistani cities, including Quetta and Peshawar, he added, saying, insurgents based in Pakistan would not be allowed to resettle in Afghanistan. He clearly mentioned that the agreement would also include bilateral cooperation on eliminating terrorism.
Kabul, Afghanistan : “Pakistan still remains a venue and ground for gatherings from which mercenaries send us messages of war”, politely fumed Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani while addressing a press gathering at Kabul on Monday. This came in after the recent suicide car bombing earlier in the day near Kabul International Airport, killing 5 people and adding to the chain of deadly terrorist Taliban-sponsored attacks in the capital of Afghanistan. Ghani stated that the recent series of attacks in Kabul and other provinces show that the war has changed shape. The enemy who was fighting to gain some territory and to claim a victory has now had its backbone broken. It is so desperate now that it has turned to cowardly attacks against innocent people just to weaken people’s morale.The incidents of the past two months in general and the recent days in particular show that the suicide training camps and the bomb making facilities targetting and murdering innocent Afghan people still operate, as in the past, in Pakistan. Just as the incident in Peshawar and the killing of hundreds of innocent children in a school became a turning point in Pakistan, the recent incidents in Kabul and other provinces are no less and is a turning point for Afghanistan. President Ghani paid heartfelt tributes and prayers to all those killed in the recent terrorist attacks and gave condolences to their families and wished quick recovery for all those injured.
Expressing deep concern over restoration of peace and harmony in and around Afghanistan, Ghani said that over the last few days, Afghanistan has witnessed significant changes in war methods against Afghans. The peace process is facing new questions. and the country needs to know where the Afghanistan-Pakistan relations are heading.
Ghani said that the withdrawal of over 100,000 highly equipped international military forces plus the transfer to Afghan forces of the entire responsibility to counter threats was a development that was not unforeseeable. International observers had predicted that Afghanistan may not be able to deal with this new situation even for a few days.Ghani revisited the earlier anticipation which had predicted that the situation in and around Afghan had given signals that this year would be the most difficult of all since the Bonn process. The reason being, enemies waiting for a power vacuum so they could take advantage of and see the government collapse.
Expressing relief over the falsification of such earlier claims, Ghani said that none of the gloomy predictions turned to reality. The enemies were disappointed. Afghan defense and security forces quickly filled in the gap left behind by the international forces and defeated the enemies on all fronts. Ghani expressed his deepest gratitude to the brave sons and daughters in Afghan uniform for all the sacrifices they are making.
Speaking on terrorism, Ghani’s political messaging stressed on the recent significant development about Mullah Omar not being alive, this news Ghani mentioned, was an Intel from the Afghanistan intelligence agencies which confirmed the death of Mullah Omar and exposed the lies and fabrications. This confirmation not only demonstrated the strength and maturity of Afghan intelligence, but also reaffirmed the fact that the war in Afghanistan is fought for and by others and that the so-called Amir-ul-Momenin, who apparently led and commanded the war, might not have even existed.
Ghani spoke emphatically on terrorism. He said that Terrorism is a vast and a widespread concern. The terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and other Muslim countries are of the same nature. These attacks pursue to collapse states and state system in the region. Appreciating the rejection of such attacks, Ghani praised the grand gathering of Muslim scholars in the city of Makkah for condemning these attacks. As reaffirmed in the Shanghai Summit in Russia earlier, Ghani again reiterated that Afghanistan will continue to make every effort to overcome to build a regional consensus for effective cooperation against terrorism.
Emphasizing on Pakistan’s dual-messaging syndrome, Ghani threw light on his day-old conversation with Pakistan’s Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff, Ghani made it clear that the government of Pakistan should have the same definition of terrorism in regard to Afghanistan, just as it has for its own. Recalling his previous visit to Pakistan last November, Ghani reminded that Afghanistan and Pakistan both had affirmed full commitment for peace and Afghan side had made it clear that peace had two aspects – peace with Pakistan and peace with Taliban.Even now, Ghani said that he discussed the common opportunities and threats and made it very clear to the Pakistani side that a new window of opportunity has opened. Ghani detailed what he meant by this, when he said that depending on the capacity and the will of the Pakistani leadership, it is upon that side to change the window into a door and then to an alley and even a highway, or mess around with attacks on innocent lives and shut the opportunity door all together.
Over the past ten months, Afghanis have shown commitment and the will by sharing intelligence with the Pakistani side so that both could carry out a comprehensive and targeted anti-terrorism campaign to rid both nations of violence. But Ghani fretted at the inability of Pakistani side to demonstrate its will through action.The decisions that Pakistani government will be making in the next few weeks will be significant for the bilateral relations in coming decades he added, pointing out that the security of Afghan people and the national interests of Afghanistan would be the basis of relationship with Pakistan. “We can no longer tolerate to see our people bleeding in a war exported and imposed on us from outside” he added.
“We hoped for peace, but war is declared against us from Pakistani territory; this in fact puts into a display a clear hostility against a neighboring country. I ask the government and people of Pakistan to imagine that a terrorist attack just like the one in Kabul’s Shah Shahid area took place in Islamabad and the groups behind it had sanctuaries in Afghanistan and ran offices and training centers in our big cities, what would have been your reaction? Will you have looked at us as friends or enemies? I would like to call on those Taliban who do not want their country destroyed and their people killed, to quit the ranks of criminals and insurgents and to reintegrate into their society. Today, the resources that should have been spent on building factories, hospitals and on other development projects are spent for defense and fighting a war exported to us by others” stated Afghanistan President.
He further went on to add that the people of Afghanistan are all Muslims, so Islam is not the issue in this war. The political system in Afghanistan is based on the religion of Islam, and all the research shows that the Constitution of Afghanistan compared to those in the neighborhood, is enriched with Islamic values and ideas. Islamic scholars believe that having a system, even weak and rife with defects, is a lot better than not having a system at all. Islam is a religion of peace and stability. According to Islamic Sharia, anyone engaged in acts to destabilize and wreck security in a society and kill Muslims, is described as insurgent and warmonger.The main question is how can those who claim to have been acting on Sharia can be this careless to the massacre of the innocent people? What would be their response to Aya 32, Sora Almaida of the Holy Quran which says, “Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely”?
Ghani use stern words and stated that there will be no flexibility of any kind with the criminals. We have directed the courts and the judicial authorities to show no leniency with those who have our people’s blood on their hand and those who respond the peace call with war and criminality will undoubtedly receive maximum punishment. Whoever is engaged in criminality, narcotics, and atrocities, and whoever works for the outsiders to destroy Afghanistan is the enemy of peace. Such people fear peace, they fear rule of law and fear a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. Experience has shown that whenever there is a chance for peace, enemies are irritated and resort to violence and brutality. However, such acts cannot deter Afghanistan from its quest for peace and completely rules out out the option of giving warmongers any concessions. Peace will be traded with only with those who believe in the meaning of being a human, Muslim and Afghan and who do not destroy their own country on order from foreign masters, warned Ghani.
Ghani called upon the country’s politicians to do their utmost to keep Afghanistan together at this critical juncture and to refrain from any actions that spread suspicions and disunity from which enemy may benefit.
Praising the youth power of Afghan, Ghani said that Afghan youth are more willing today than ever to join the ranks of their country’s armed forces. Consistent to the demand, the forces have increased recruitment volume up to 9 percent.
On a concluding note, Ghani again brought the focus back on Pakistan. He reiterated that relation between Pakistan and Afghanistan is based on national interests, on top of which comes security and safety of Afghani people. He end up his address by saying this to Pakistan – “If country’s people continue to be killed, relations lose meaning.”
Kabul: At last five persons were killed and more than forty others were wounded in a huge explosion in the parking area of the Afghan Ministry of Justice when offices were closing and the officers were leaving for home.
Tuesday’s attack is being viewed as a fresh wave of offensive by the Afghan Taliban.