On a visit to India, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani held closed-door discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while the two sides discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and future Indian development projects. Modi sought information on the seven Indians suspected kidnapped by Taliban. There has been no word of their rescue.
Government sources said Ghani gave the Indian government an account of the recent Taliban attack on Ghazni, in which over 100 “foreign nationals” were killed by Afghan forces. These, he said, had come from Pakistan. Media reports showed a number of bodies returned to Pakistani towns for last rites.
Ghani also informed the Indian side Islamic State was increasing its presence in Afghanistan, something that has been echoed by the US, Russia and Iran separately. However, the Afghan assessment of the composition of IS continues to be that they are mainly disaffected TTP members from Orakzai agency of Pakistan, confirming once again that Pakistan’s interference in Afghanistan was unchanged.
Addressing a civic reception in his honour by the India Foundation, Ghani said the war in Afghanistan was an “unrestricted war”, targeting civilians and places of worship. Defending his ceasefire offer to Taliban, he was it was widely welcomed in the country. “Peace in Afghanistan must be an inclusive peace. Why is peace with Taliban important? Because if we arrive at peace with the Taliban, we can concentrate on counter-terrorism. No matter how much the process goes on for and how much blood is spilt, the Taliban are part of our society.”