Raging violence in Afghanistan

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AS Afghan peace process has reached a very critical phase, it is most unfortunate to see violence raging once again in Afghanistan.

In yet another despicable incident, explosions caused by a car bomb and mortars outside a school in Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least fifty people and wounded one hundred and fifty others, mostly female students.

Indeed such acts and that too against school children cannot be condoned, and instead of blaming somebody without ascertaining the facts, responsibility rests with Afghan government to investigate the latest act of violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.

While Taliban denied any hand, it was really surprising to see President Ashraf Ghani blaming the group for the blast.

We have no doubt in saying that this is a plot hatched by elements who do not want the peace process making any positive headway. The Afghan parties should not allow such attacks distract them from the peace process.

It is no time for indulging in blame games but hold meaningful negotiations to reach a permanent and durable settlement.

Already people of Afghanistan have suffered a lot because of the bloody civil war. They want a healing touch and it can only be provided to them by Afghan government and Taliban. Both the parties must demonstrate flexibility in their positions to move forward.

In fact it is the Afghan government that while rising above lip service will have to demonstrate through its conduct seriousness for the peace process.

Other countries especially the US, China, Russia and Pakistan should continue their efforts so that success achieved so far is not reverted.

As the US troops withdrawal is continuing, regrouping of terrorist groups in Afghanistan is very much possible and should be a matter of concern.

The international community must assist the Afghan security forces to better deal with them.

The political settlement will indeed strengthen the hands of Afghans not to allow any space to terrorists.