Taliban fighters are holding a number of hostages after storming the Kandahar airport compound in southern Afghanistan, even as a major conference on security gets under way in neighboring Pakistan. At least 22 military officials have been killed in the assault that began on Tuesday night. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani landed in Islamabad on Wednesday for the Heart of Asia regional conference that aims to revive peace talks with the Taliban. "I strongly reiterate our commitment to lasting and just peace within which all movements that resort to arms convert themselves to political parties and participate in the political process legitimately," he said. "Violence is not the way in a democratic society." Pakistan too has said it is committed to renewing the Afghan peace process. "The emergence of newer and more threatening terrorist groups like Daesh should also strengthen our resolve against terrorism," Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister, said at the conference, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. "We should envisage collective and coordinated measures on the regional security front to ensure that the gains and struggle against terrorism are durable and irreversible." The meeting, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, comes months after the first, inconclusive talks between the Afghan government and the group.