His administration would never bow to terrorist strikes, President Ashraf Ghani vowed on Sunday when he called for religious scholars to help restore peace in the country.
In a televised speech, the president also urged tribal elders to help his government stem the tide of militant-linked violence that have killed scores of people over the past few days.
Speaking to a gathering on the UN human rights day, the president declared: “These attacks are no longer acceptable. They are not Islamic, they are not humane."
A day earlier, a suicide bomber hit an Afghan National Army bus in the heart of Kabul, killing seven soldiers. The attack came hours after a Supreme Court official was shot dead and 12 deminers killed in the south.
As NATO-led combat troops prepare to leave the country by the end of the current year, Ghani pledged: "We will never surrender." He said the string of attacks had been enough.
He stressed: "Our society should raise our voice against it, I specially ask the Ulema, tribal leaders and civil society members to speak out saying that it is not acceptable,"
Despite all its challenges and problems, Afghanistan had stayed alive for 5,000 years and it would be around for another 5,000 years, he asserted. No one could break the country, he remarked.
About a recent deadly attack on players in Paktia, he said: "What was the sin of our children in Yahyakhel? They were playing volleyball. Here society must loudly say it is enough. It is not acceptable anymore.”
He described peace as a vital for the country’s consistent development, a goal that could be achieved with the help of sound planning and patience, he said. “But terrorists should understand they can’t undermine our resolve and will…”
Ghani called Islam a religion of peace that sets store by protecting human rights and values. On the other hand, he explained, terror stemmed from moral weakness and torture reflected the perpetrator’s depravity.
The president listed poverty, deprivation and corruption as huge challenges, saying dealing with them was the responsibility of the international community. One government alone could not address the challenges, he argued.
Also on Sunday, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the killing of 11 deminers and the wounding of another six in an attack in Helmand province.
Secretary-General’s Special Representative Nicholas Haysom said: “The deliberate targeting and killing of de-miners removing explosive ordnance in order to make Afghanistan a safer place is particularly odious and totally unacceptable.”