Stanikzai wants offensive strategy changed
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Calling the bloodshed of Afghans in the name of jihad a project of foreign intelligence networks, Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai on Monday stressed the need for changes to Afghanistan’s offensive strategy in the war against Taliban and Islamic State groups.
Stanikzai said this during a visit to Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province to monitor an ongoing search operation against Taliban and Daesh militants.
The operation has been ongoing for the last three days and likely to be extended to the Shinwari zone encompassing three districts.
Addressing hundreds of local residents and military leaders at the Kot district centre, Stanikzai said: “We should change our strategy and measures and should preserve areas taken (from insurgents).”
However, he did not go into details about the changes, but said the Afghan forces should support public uprising groups during their operations which should follow the establishment of security posts in areas cleared of militants.
“The enemy is applying every tactics. They behead religious scholars and innocent civilians and give it the name of jihad. Who are behind these killings, these are all intelligence projects.”
Stanikzai insisted the operation in Kot district would continue and urged local residents to cooperate with the government particularly with the national security forces.
Nangarhar governor Salim Khan Kunduzi said operations in various areas of Kot district were successfully underway and several areas had been cleared of militants.
“A number of our districts are plagued by insecurity, but the armed groups will face the tough response like the Kot district,” he said, promising to reopen schools and health clinics which had been closed due to insecurity in various areas.
A tribal elder in Kot, Maulvi Abdul Aziz Khairkhwa, said the Daesh group had so far beheaded 21 people in the district and had closed many schools.
“Are we Jews or Christians to be killed? This war is of the Pakistan intelligence. Their country is governed by British laws, but they have declared jihad in Afghanistan as legitimate.”
The provincial council deputy head, Dr. Nasir Kamawal, urged the Defence Ministry to increase the strength of security forces in Nangarhar and further equip them.
Other speakers announced they would cooperate with the government and would not allow militants to enter their areas.
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