Written by admin on Monday, February 4th, 2019

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

Ghani Reacts to Taliban Remarks on ‘No Army Needed’
SOURCE: Daily Outlook Afghanistan
Monday, February 4, 2019

*The president reacted during a ceremony to honour freed commandos who had been in a Taliban prison

KABUL – President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said that those forcing people to hold peace talks must avoid discussing the issue of dissolving the country’s army.

He said: “Those who are forcefully bringing others to negotiate must not talk about dissolving our “lions” (army); if they are so brave, then they must come and fight on the battlefield instead of carrying out suicide (attacks) and explosions,” Ghani said.

Ghani had been referring to a video issued by a senior Taliban member, and former head of the Qatar office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai.

Stanikzai had been discussing the Doha talks between the Taliban and the United States.

In the video, Stanikzai said once the US forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan, there would be no need for an army in Afghanistan.

In response, Ghani said at an event to honor commandos, after they were freed last week from a Taliban prison, that the country’s security forces are improving and getting stronger and will eventually be able to work without foreign assistance.

He said however they would never accept a peace agreement that’s not sustainable.

“A peace that our security and defense forces do not guarantee is not acceptable to us,” Ghani added.

“Our security and defense forces are not one-day forces, one year and one decade and a generation, but forces that fight for hundreds of generations,” Ghani added.

Last week Stanikzai released a video in which he discussed Doha talks and hinted that the current army was illegitimate as it had been established with the help of the US.

He also said once the US forces have withdrawn there would be no need for an army.


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