Ghani urges Afghans to back national forces
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday called on the Afghans to support their national security forces, who he said had the ability to maintain security and defend the country.
The president was a addressing a gathering marking the handover of full security responsiblity to Afghan forces from departing US and NATO troops after their 13-year combat mission in Kabul.
The US and NATO forces on Sunday ended their longest war in Afghanistan to start a follow up mission to train and support Afghan forces from today (January 1). About 17,000 foreign soldiers, most of them from the US, will be deployed in Afghanistan as part of the coalition’s new mission.
President Ghani promised a series of privileges and facilities for Afghan forces and urged them to act under the country’s laws and Islamic orders.
Ghani said maintaining peace and law and order was his top priority. He said leaders of the unity government were not sitting idle, but they had developed an essential strategy for regional security in cooperation with China.
“This strategy is Afghan-led. The armed opposition (insurgents) should recognise Afghanistan’s sovereignty.” The president said Afghans should be ready for all kinds of sacrifices to have a durable peace.
The president said Afghan forces were now able to defend the country. “The honour of this country is now in your hands. You can defend this soil for the next 5000 years.”
“Today I congratulate former president Hamid Karzai; it is the outcome of your untiring efforts that today we reach a complete sovereignty. I am thankful that you appointed me the head of the security transition commission.”
Ghani said the enemies of Afghanistan had been thinking Afghans would not be able to peacefully complete the political transition. “But we proved that we are a united nation and no one can use us.”
He also thanked Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and said Afghanistan’s political leadership had proven its unison and no one could mislead it.
He paid tributes to Afghan and foreign forces for their sacrifices. “Our solo aim is protection of our national sovereignty.”
Ghani said Afghan and foreign troops had been jointly defending the country’s sovereignty over the past 13 years, but now the job would be done solely by the Afghans.
The president urged the people of Afghanistan, religious leaders, media organisations and civil society groups to support Afghan forces and praise their sacrifices.
Describing women the worst suffers of the conflict, Ghani urged them to send their sons to join the Afghan forces.
He also asked government officials to support Afghan forces and closely look what efforts they were making for their country’s security. He promised to create a fund to support families of martyred security personnel.
The president said he would act in accordance with the law and that transparency and accountability in government’s affairs would remain his top priority. He said he would not let Afghan forces enter trivial political matters.
He also urged neighbouring countries to work jointly against elements hell-bent on destabilising the region through terrorist activities. He said the neighbours should not interfere into each other’s affairs.
“Afghanistan is not a battlefield. We will not allow anyone to fuel proxy wars on our soil nor will allow our soil to be used against others.”
Ghani thanked foreign troops for their sacrifices over the past 13 years to maintain security in Afghanistan and support in the country.
Addressing foreigners he said: “Your sons are home now, but ours still unsafe and daily render sacrifices.”
Ghani insisted the agreements Afghanistan had signed with foreign countries should be implemented in order to strengthen peace in the country.
“The threats are not concentrated on Afghanistan alone; we are in the frontline, but if we do not prevent the threats, neither America nor Europe will be safe. For a safe world, a stable and secure Afghanistan is needed.”
“There are no good or bad among the terrorists. I should make it clear no one can destroy Afghanistan,” he said, asking the Afghans to decide their own fate themselves. “We will not sacrifice Afghanistan for the decisions of others.”
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