KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a sombre speech to the Afghan parliament on Monday, called on Pakistan to battle some factions of the Taliban rather than try to bring them into peace talks.
Ghani's statement comes a week after a Taliban assault on the Afghan capital, Kabul, killed 64 people and wounded another 340.
Although President Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan faced a terrorist enemy led by Taliban "slaves" in Pakistan, his statement appeared to leave the door open to resuming peace talks with some factions of the Taliban as he suggested there was still some hope of compromise with at least some Taliban.
He said that the doors of negotiation would remain open for those Taliban ready to stop bloodshed but added: "This opportunity will not be there forever."
He said Taliban leaders finding shelter in Peshawar and Quetta were "slaves and enemies of Afghanistan who shed the blood of their countrymen" and he called on Pakistan to wipe them out.
Ghani stopped short of declaring a state of national emergency, pledging war against radical groups like the militant Islamic State (IS) and the Haqqani network.
The Afghan president did not say whose slaves he thought the Taliban were, but his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, has accused Pakistan of harbouring the Taliban and supporting other militant groups in the past.
Pakistan denies harbouring and aiding the Taliban but Ghani urged the Pakistan government to "fulfill promises and carry out military operations against those whose bases are in Pakistan".
Ghani said there are "no good or bad terrorists, they are just terrorists", and that "Pakistan must understand that and act against them."
The response from the Taliban, who have already rejected peace talks while Western forces remain in Afghanistan, was scornful.
"The nation is not blind, people understand who the slave is and who works for the interest of others," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States have been trying to revive peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban in recent months, but have made little progress.
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After a year that saw 11,000 civilian casualties and some 5,500 members of the security forces killed fighting the Taliban, the distinction may make little concrete difference to the fighting on the ground.
But two weeks after the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive and then followed up with the biggest single attack seen in Kabul since 2011, there had been wide speculation among politicians in Kabul that Ghani could declare the stalled peace process formally dead.
The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001, are seeking to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul and reimpose Islamic rule.
Ghani's speech came at a time of growing apprehension in Kabul at the prospect of more intense fighting over the summer months.
Over recent days, Afghan security forces have fought back Taliban attacks on Kunduz, the northern city that briefly fell to the insurgents last year.
Large parts of the southern province of Helmand are now in insurgent hands and there has been heavy fighting in several other provinces from Herat in the west to Kunar in the east.
Ghani said security forces, fighting alone since the end of Nato's main combat mission in 2014, were in a stronger position than last year and said a permanent minister of defence and head of the main intelligence agency would be appointed soon.