Taliban can’t advance even an inch in Helmand: Qahraman
But the militants could not make further gains, said Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, President Ashraf Ghani’s point man for counterinsurgency offensives in the restive province.
Addressing a media briefing in Lashkargah, Qahraman accused the neighbouring countries -- particularly Pakistan -- of brazenly interfering in Helmand and other parts of the country.
He said Pakistan was out to strengthen its foothold in Helmand to deflect criticism from the international community of its duplicitous role.
Over the last three months, the ex-parliamentarian acknowledged, the government’s armed opponents had made certain gain in the province at a heavy price.
Senior militant leaders were killed in ground aerial operations in the province, Qahraman said, claiming the Taliban’s resistance had eroded significantly.
“Now that the security situation has been brought under control, the Taliban can’t move forward even an inch,” Qahraman insisted, saying an offensive would be launched soon to retake areas under Taliban’s sway.
Coordination among security organs had improved and other problems too would be overcome in near future, the official said without elaborating. “Central and provincial authorities have stepped up efforts to stabilise the situation.”
He added: “Even now I want the fighters to lay down their arms, as war offers no solution. If they don’t agree, we won’t wait any longer. I will go after them and eradicate their roots in Helmand.”
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