Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Kabul Peace Process: A Time For Solidarity, President Ashraf Ghani

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate, the most Merciful, and the most Peaceful,
Respected Ambassadors, Ministers, Distinguished Representatives, Friends,
Six days ago, thirteen brave Afghan policemen gave their lives to stop a sewerage truck packed with military grade explosives from entering the diplomatic compound, a direct violation of the Geneva and Vienna accords. The massive blast tore through the heart of Kabul.  But thanks to the unflinching sacrifice of those noble policemen, nobody from the diplomatic community was killed.
But over 80 entirely innocent Afghan sons and daughters were killed and more than five hundred were brought to hospital with burns, lacerations, and amputations.
Since becoming President two and a half years ago, not a month goes by without my heart breaking. I visit our hospitals and our cemeteries, the places where our young people’s lives have been torn to pieces by senseless, terrorist violence.
But we are not alone in our grief. Three weeks ago, in Manchester, England,  little Saffie Rose Roussos had finally become eight years old. With thousands of other young children, she was going to have fun with her friends in a concert. And shortly thereafter she became the youngest victim of a terrorist attack that ripped 22 more souls from their families and sent at least twelve more children under the age of sixteen to the hospital.
Terrorism is killing our children. Before we begin our talks today, I ask that all of us take a minute of silence to reflect on these innocent lives that were lost, those young people whose futures were snatched from them and from us.
Let me begin by thanking you – the men and women of the world community but also my Afghan brothers and sisters at home and abroad. You have stood with us, as we stand with you, to end the senseless violence in Kabul, in London, in Brussels, in Turkey, in St. Petersburg, in Iraq, in Syria. We acknowledge with gratitude the sacrifices that your countries have made, including that ultimate sacrifice which too many of your soldiers have made on behalf of Afghanistan.
We are gathered here in Kabul today to express solidarity against this terror and to begin the difficult process of defining a pathway that can lead to a just peace that ensures stability, security, and the rule of law.
The first part of this challenge is straightforward. In 2006 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 60/288, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  That strategy calls on all state members of  the international community to (and I quote)  “consistently, unequivocally, and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever, and for whatever purposes, as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are in a city whose people are grieving because hundreds of our children have been blown apart by terrorist violence. But while our people appreciate the world’s solidarity and support for our loss, what our people are demanding is justice.
These terrorist attacks insult the very concept of justice. The rebels say they are fighting a religious war, but Islam is a religion of peace. As the Holy Q’uran says, “to kill one Muslim is to kill the whole of humanity.” And it is Muslims – Afghan Muslims —  innocent Muslim men, women, and children, who they are killing, by the thousand.  Narcotics, terror, extortion; our religion has nothing but contempt for these tools of modern day terrorism. They are terrorists, nothing more.
The world community has not yet come to grips with the full dimensions of the terrorist threat. The UN has documented the substantial growth in the scale of terrorism, in the sophistication of its operations, and in the brutality of its attacks. Unfortunately, the scale of the response to terrorism’s rise has been slow and inadequate. While cooperation is improving, countries still lack the frameworks, the legal instruments, and the adaptability to track down and destroy movements that rapidly change their scope, their scale, and even their theater of operations.
Global terror has targeted Afghanistan, attracted by our central location and difficult terrain. Best estimates show an increase from 200 to 11,000 foreign fighters over the past two years. Dabiq – the field manuals for Daesh – urge their recruits to go to Afghanistan and other South Asian countries.  These people do not even pretend to bring any value to the Afghan people.  They spill our blood only to provide a base for their criminal forays and violent activities around the region and the globe.
The world must help us respond to this threat. We are gathered in this conference because the world community signed a promise that terrorism would not be tolerated. State sponsorship of terrorism would not be tolerated. Transnational financing of terrorist would not be tolerated. As Prime Minister May recently said, “enough is enough.”
And today we are demanding that the world make good on this promise. The violence must be stopped.  Terror must end. Our people must be able to live their lives in safety. There can be no compromise when it comes to protecting the lives of the innocent, and on enforcing rule of law and justice against those who seek to harm them.
We are making our full contribution as a frontline state and the first line of defense for the security of the region. We are fighting over 20 international terrorist groups on your behalf. Our armed forces and the mobilized people of Ningrahar and other provinces are containing and eliminating the Daesh threat.
But we still need a strategy agreed across the region, an operational vehicle, and a plan of action to overcome terrorism. That is the task of the moment, that is the challenge of the hour. - Read More, President Ghani

President of Afghanistan Kabul Peace Process: A Time for Solidarity

Office of the President of Afghanistan


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