Pakistan waging 'undeclared war' against Afghanistan: Ghani

Pakistan waging 'undeclared war' against Afghanistan: Ghani

Afghanistan's president says the death toll from last week's massive suicide truck bombing in Kabul has surpassed 150, making it the deadliest single attack in the 16 years since the USA invaded to topple the Taliban.

Underscoring the volatile situation, at least one rocket struck an Indian diplomatic compound in Kabul, as the delegations met a few blocks away.

The president, Ashraf Ghani, made the disclosure - increasing the death toll by more than 50 - during a speech at a one-day peace conference his government convened in the capital Tuesday.

Ghani has come under mounting public criticism for spiralling insecurity, with a wave of protests and deadly street clashes roiling the Afghan capital as people incensed by the violence call for his government's resignation.

Ghani warned the Taliban - which is steadily gaining ground and controls 40 percent of Afghanistan, according to US estimates - that his government wants talks but that the olive branch will not be offered indefinitely.

He told the meeting it was time for the Taliban to embrace peace or "face the consequences".

"Roshan can now confirm we have lost 12 Roshan staff members and 19 employees from our longstanding partner companies as a result of Wednesday's tragic explosion", a statement by the telecom firm said.




A spokesperson for the Afghan ministry initially told NBC News in the aftermath of the blast that at least 80 people had been killed, although that figure has now risen significantly.

"We have seen other attempts at peace but majority haven't been here in the Afghan capital, majority have been outside of the country", Glasse said.

Ghani said if the Taliban did not soon begin negotiations, he would seek new sanctions against the group as a sponsor of terrorism.

"The Kabul process aims to build an inclusive peace in Afghanistan, with the support of neighboring countries and the worldwide community", he said.

More than 460 people have been wounded in the incident. Pakistan's military in turn has also blamed Afghanistan for harboring insurgents it said were responsible for a spate of bombings in February. A U.S. watchdog said last month that a record number of civilians died in 2016, 16 years after then-U.S. President George W. Bush first sent special forces to the country after the September 11 attacks to topple the Taliban regime which sheltered al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

"These terrorists once again proved they don't represent any religion and they only carry out such coward attacks to please their Pakistani masters which is against all Islamic and human rights principals", the NDS said in a statement on Thursday.

Afghanistan accuses elements in Pakistan, anxious about old rival India gaining influence in Afghanistan, of providing support for militant groups like the Taliban, an accusation Pakistan denies. "If Taliban wants to join peace talks, the Afghan government will allow them to open an office, but this is their last chance", he said.

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