President Ashraf Ghani met today with a number of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan elders and influential figures at the Presidential Palace.
Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, Farhatullah Babar, Afrasiab Khattak, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Mohsin Dawar and Bushra Gohar who had visited Kabul to attend the President Ghani’s swearing-in ceremony, extended their congratulations to the president for securing second term in office.
They praised the president’s courage during the missile attacks aimed at disrupting the inauguration ceremony. They talked over the president’s efforts for peace and expressed hope that such efforts under the able leadership of President Ghani would lead to enduring peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan.
They added that security in Afghanistan will be of paramount importance and to the benefit of the entire region, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces that have been severely affected by conflict and terrorism. They underlined that Afghans have gone through immense suffering and paid sacrifices during the past forty years and said their dedication to their country will bring security to Afghanistan.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said Afghanistan is our common home and I wholeheartedly thank you for coming to Kabul. He added that the republic and the women rights will not be compromised during the peace negotiations.
The first vice president said that unity, cultural values and bonds shared by Afghans will be preserved and nobody will be permitted to sow seed of discord between us under different names.
President Ashraf Ghani said welcomed the elders and said, “A stable, strong Afghanistan with a growing economy will put a positive impact on the security of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.”
“We need to jointly strive to eradicate violence,” added the president while underscoring that a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan will be to the benefit of all.
President Ghani stressed that Pakistan should consider Afghanistan as an equal counterpart, acknowledge the determination of the people of Afghanistan and extend the hand of friendship, security and progress to the leadership of the Afghan government.
President Ghani talked over Afghan human capital and their potentials, describing them as the great assets of the country.
The president said, “Our nation is not trapped in the past, but envision the future.” He added that Afghans are open-hearted people and proved it two years ago during the cease-fire. They didn’t misbehave with the Taliban who were flowing into cities and villages.
The president termed the rights of women, the republic and constitution interrelated issues and said, “We are strongly determined to preserve the rights of women and strengthen the republic. The forty-year conflict and violence must come to an end.”
President Ashraf Ghani said Afghans demand dignified and sustainable peace, but we must be assured that making peace [with the Taliban] will not lead to another destructive war. We have plan, determination, intention and capacity to establish peace in the country.
The president said, “We will try to recover the losses of war during the next five years,” adding that this country will be stable and prosperous.
He added, “We have a rich country and a noble nation,” underlining that Afghans will not be refugees again and their hand will not be extended to others for help.