Taliban face historic test, says President Ghani
The president, who inaugurated the parliament on its return from a 45-day winter break, said efforts for peace and stability would remain his government’s priority.
Ghani said some circles believed foreign assistance to Afghanistan would decline after most foreign troops had left and Afghanistan would return to the 1990s, but such claims proved wrong and the past 14 years’ achievements remained sustained.
The president said such worries had led to a decline in foreign investment and a massive migration of youth from the country, hurting the homeland to some extent.
Ghani said the outgoing solar year had been vital for Afghanistan because some thought the current system would collapse within this year that ends on March 21.
The president said it was the unity government that strengthened the country and assured the international community that Afghanistan was a reliable partner and thus the world’s belief in the country was restored.
Ghani said the unity government leadership did not desire war with the enemy rather there was a political, military and international support for peace in the country.
He said the government wanted peace and would not refuse to make attempts at peace and stability even in difficult situations. He assured that the government would consult and inform the nation about every step it took for peace and stability.
The president said besides efforts for peace and stability, the government was fully aware of the challenges in form of violence and conflict which he said had been imposed on the Afghan nation. “We should be prepared for the worst and should keep live our hope for peace and stability.”
He said Al Aaeda, the Pakistani Taliban, extremist groups from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Chachneia were the main factors of terrorism in Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan was the first country where Daesh was on the run.
Ghani said his government strived for peace on two fronts --- the peace process with Taliban and Hikmatyar and with Pakistan and foreign terrorist networks.
He rejected peace with foreign terrorist networks and pledged to eliminate them all. Ghani said: “Afghanistan and Pakistan are burning in the flames of terrorism. We want brotherly and good relations based on mutual respect, no compromise can be made on the country’s Constitution and foreign policy.”
He told the Taliban: “You have to make a historic decision. It is up to you whether to stand by the Afghan nation or side with the enemies of Afghanistan.”
The president told the lawmakers that the government would take some key decisions this year in which their cooperation was needed.
He hoped cooperation between the three state pillars would enhance and the government fight on corruption would be expanded and strict measures would be taken in this regard. He said the government was committed to bringing electoral reform.
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