GHANI TO TALIBAN: Who will benefit if Afghanistan is ruined?

Taliban has taken control of several districts across the country and US intelligence assessments have suggested the country’s civilian government could fall to the terror group within months of US forces withdrawing completely, reports Asian Lite News

Expressing concern over the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said that Taliban is responsible for the continuation of the war, questioning who they are fighting for and who will benefit if the country is ruined?

While, addressing a gathering in Khost province, Ghani asked the nation to stay united in support for independence, the republic and coexistence.

This comes amid a surge in violence in Afghanistan. The Taliban has intensified its offensive against the government after US has started withdrawing from the war-torn country.

“The Taliban is responsible for the continuation of the war,” Ghani said. “Taliban should be asked whom they are fighting for? Who will benefit if Afghanistan is ruined and if Afghans are killed?”

He added that they should also be asked that are they fighting for Afghanistan, or they want the country to be controlled by others?

Taliban

“If you love Afghanistan, promise me you have not accepted the Durand Line, promise me not to change Afghanistan from a roundabout to a one-way road, promise me you will not sell Afghanistan’s waters to others, promise me you will not serve others,” President Ghani said, pointing at the Taliban.

“We want peace with everyone…. If 200 to 400 to 600 Afghans are killed every day, who will benefit from this? … I will tell you about Arghandab. They destroyed three bridges that cost at least USD 15 million, they bombed 1,000 homes,” Ghani said.

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Talking about the peace in the country, Ghani said, “The Afghan government has made lots of efforts to move the peace process forward and wants peace, but the Taliban continued violence.” He added, “They (Taliban) should attend talks and don’t ruin their country with the dictation of outsiders.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban has taken control of several districts across the country and US intelligence assessments have suggested the country’s civilian government could fall to the terror group within months of US forces withdrawing completely.

Meanwhile, President Biden on Thursday confirmed that the US military drawdown from Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.

Situation out of Pak control’

Fearing a civil war in Afghanistan, Pakistan National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf has painted a bleak picture of its neighbouring country, which may result in the Taliban slipping into Pakistan as refugees.

Yusuf made these remarks during a briefing to the country’s Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, convened to discuss the current Afghan situation, The Express Tribune reported. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also present at the briefing.

Presenting a pessimistic picture of Afghanistan, Yusuf said, “The situation is bad and out of Pakistan’s control.”

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According to a prominent Afghan expert, the Taliban would not engage in a dialogue with Ashraf Ghani’s government as long as the Pakistani military and intelligence continue to give sanctuary to terrorists.

In an interview with German’s DW, Ahmed Rashid, a journalist and best-selling foreign policy author of several books about Afghanistan, said that the chaotic situation in Afghanistan “can suck in the neighbouring countries.” “If that happens, that will be the end of Afghanistan,” he said.

“Why should they when their leaders and their families are safe? If Pakistan wants to show its sincerity, it needs to immediately force the Taliban leaders to either compromise or leave their sanctuaries in Quetta or in Peshawar,” Rashid said.

Zalmay Khalilzad. (Photo: Twitter/@US4AfghanPeace)

Khalilzad travels to Asia, M-E

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad departed for South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East on July 9, the US State Department said on Saturday.

A state department release said that Ambassador Khalilzad, during his travel, will continue to engage in determined diplomacy and the pursuit of a peace agreement between the Islamic Republic and the Taliban.

As part of the United States’ ongoing support of the peace process, Khalilzad will work with all parties and with regional and international stakeholders to further advance a consensus on a political settlement, the release said.

“Political accommodation on the part of all sides remains urgent. The sooner the sides can agree to a negotiated settlement, the sooner Afghanistan and the region can reap the benefits of peace, including expanded regional connectivity, trade, and development,” the statement said.

In Tashkent, Ambassador Khalilzad will participate in an international conference hosted by the Government of Uzbekistan on regional connectivity, it added. (ANI)

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