“Taliban must choose between Islam and terrorism, between humanity and barbarism,” Ghani said a day after Afghans observed a day of national mourning following Saturday’s deadly ambulance bombing that killed at least 103 people.
Ghani said if the Taliban really believes in Islam and humanity, then the group must separate itself from barbarism and puppets of religious manipulators and intelligence agencies.
“Those who consider themselves Muslims and Afghans must now separate themselves, in words and actions, from those barbaric puppets of religious manipulators and intelligence agencies,” he said, adding that today Afghans are at a crossroads in the country’s history and must take decisive and clear steps to bring lasting stability to the country.
Ghani said that the Taliban was carrying out attacks in Afghanistan on the orders of their masters.
President Ashraf Ghani supported the country’s security forces who are fighting insurgency on the battlefields and in the cities.
But in a show of support for security forces he said: “I salute the bravery of our security forces, especially the police who are our first line of defense against these cowardly suicide bombers. Reforms in our intelligence services and Ministry of Interior are our top priority now.”
“We can no longer wait for peace to come to us, we must win it through collective national resolve,” he said.
Ghani also thanked Afghanistan’s international partners who supported the country during difficult times and urged other nations to act against what he described as state sponsorship of terrorism.
“We appreciate the sympathies extended by our international partner nations. Thank you for standing with us. It is also an infliction point for our partners. Afghans expect our partners to condemn and take all possible action against state-sponsor of terrorism,” Ghani said.
He went on to say that Islam is for all Muslims. Those who distinguish between Muslims, in their Fatwas, by arbitrary lines for their political gains and legitimize the massacre of Muslims are war criminals and must be sanctioned.
The president also briefly touched on the political developments in the country and asked Afghan political elites to come together and unite to defeat terrorism.
“Afghan political elite must rise above petty politics and unite to serve our people and defend our nation and country against state-sponsored, regional, and international terrorism.
In conclusion, Ghani said he will speak to the nation and present more details about the next steps once his Indonesian counterpart departs.
Ghani made the remarks at a joint press conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who arrived in Kabul at about mid-day on Monday – just two hours after a deadly attack on a military academy in the capital was brought under control.
Widodo in turn said his government will establish an Islamic center in Afghanistan and continue to stand by the country. He also says Indonesia is ready to help Afghanistan with various projects.
Over the past few days, Taliban and Daesh militants have carried out a wide range of attacks across the country, including three assaults in Kabul that left almost two hundred people dead and hundreds more wounded.