Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has defended his aggressive military strategy against insurgents, adding that his administration will never oppose efforts for peace and reconciliation but the armed forces had the right to defend the nation against threats.
Referring to the recent spate of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, Ghani on Friday asked the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDS) to give the “final response” to the perpetrators of the recent attacks so that they agree on a justified and equal peace, TOLO News reported.
“Today, once again, there is a need for you (ANDSF) to demonstrate your hidden power and bring out your swords from the sheath,” Ghani said as he addressed members of the Afghan commandos.
“Today it is the time that the enemies of Afghanistan see the power of the special operation forces and commandos of Afghanistan,” warned the Afghan president.
General Bismillah Waziri, the Afghan Chief of Army Staff, hailed Ghani’s decision to put the ANDSF on offense mode, and for vowing to crush any insurgent response.
“We are grateful to the decision made by the supreme commander of the armed forces and we will bravely act to suppress the enemies of Afghanistan,” said Wazirif.
The Afghan government has blamed the Taliban for the recent attacks.
“Our objective is to create conditions for peace,” said the President.
“We are not moving away from peace. Our objective is to prove that the power of our commandos shows them the power of the sovereignty of the law,” added Ghani, indirectly warning the Taliban.
An attack on a maternity hospital in the capital Kabul killed 24 civilians and injured 16 others on Tuesday, while a suicide bomb explosion targeting a funeral in eastern Nangarhar province killed 32 people and wounded 103 others.
The Taliban said they were not behind the twin attacks.
However, after the attacks, Ghani ordered national security forces to end active defence position and resume offensives on militant groups including the Taliban.
The Taliban on Thursday claimed a truck bombing in Paktia province, which killed five civilians and injured 46 others, including several military personnel.
Violence still lingered in the war-torn country after the peace deal was signed between the US and the Taliban in Qatar on February 29, which paved the way for a phased American forces withdrawal.
The agreement faces challenges as the intra-Afghan dialogue that had been scheduled to begin on March 10 could not start due to differences over the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
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