Ghani says Taliban have 'no will' for peace

By Salaam Times and AFP


President Ashraf Ghani on July 20 speaks at the presidential palace minutes after rockets landed near the compound. [Presidential Place]

KABUL -- President Ashraf Ghani Tuesday (July 20) said the Taliban have no will for peace.

Speaking after Eid prayers at the presidential palace with a group of politicians and members of the Afghan forces, Ghani once again called on the Taliban to renounce violence and seek peace.

"The Taliban have proved that they have no will and intention for peace," he said in a speech.

The government has prepared an urgent plan to change the security situation, he said.

He called on Afghans to support Afghan forces in their fight against terrorism.

"I spent the entire last week working on an urgent and practical plan so we can change the security situation. The plan has been prepared, and it has two parts," he said.

"You cannot take over this country by rockets. Why are you destroying Afghanistan's wealth, schools, hospitals, bridges and roads? Why are you killing ulema and destroying mosques?" Ghani said, addressing the Taliban.

Rocket attacks

At least three rockets landed near the presidential palace while Ghani and a number of high ranking officials held outdoor Eid prayers.

The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) claimed responsibility, however ISIS often takes responsibility for attacks that the Taliban deny committing.

In a video posted on the palace Facebook page, dozens of men gathered in the gardens continue their prayers even as the rockets fizz overhead and explode nearby.

Ghani appears not to flinch as he continues the prayer ritual.

Three rockets had been fired from a pickup truck, but one failed to detonate, said Interior Affairs Ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai.

The Taliban have announced ceasefires during past Islamic holidays, offering respite to Afghans who can visit family in relative safety, but no such offer was made on this occasion.

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