Ghani says Taliban no longer has an ‘excuse’ to continue the war
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday rejected any military parallels with the US war in Vietnam and dismissed concerns that his country would collapse after American forces are withdrawn.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_In an interview with CNN, Ghani said it was time Afghanistan regained its sovereignty after 20 years of American and international presence.
“In the past two years, Afghan defence and security forces have been carrying out over 90 per cent of the operations,” he said.
#Ghani said the US announcement of troop withdrawal has been a game changer but it’s now time the Taliban and Pakistan make a choice.
“Will they opt for peace or chaos?” he asked.
Ghani said the Taliban no longer has an excuse to carry on the war now that the international forces are withdrawing and they have no religious justification for the war. He said a #political_settlement is a must but that the ball is “clearly” in the Taliban’s court.
According to him he has never stood in the way of peace but was used as the Trump administration’s scapegoat. He said he was accused of being an “obstacle in the way of peace”.
This was not the case he said, adding that he was clear about wanting the #Trump team to deal directly with the Afghan government and not with the Taliban on the troop withdrawal issue last year.
On what the Taliban might do in future, Ghani said he would like the group to “seize the new context” and reach a political settlement where a government of peace ending in an election can be formed.
He also said that Pakistan’s leaders have all “verbally” said they do not want the Taliban to rule, and that they would like to see a peaceful, stable, democratic government in Afghanistan. He added however that Afghanistan is “key to their prosperity”.
According to him, Pakistan has two choices – share in the benefits of a peaceful Afghanistan or “opt for chaos”. He said #Pakistan would be the country most affected by a #civil_war in Afghanistan.
Ghani also stated that Pakistan could become an anchor for regional stability. On China, he said he did not believe #Beijing would get “involved” in regional conflict and stated that Afghanistan does not want “a replacement” for US troops once they have withdrawn.