Spymaster Stanikzai calls for shifting military tactics
Defence MinisterLt. Col. Abdullah Khan Habibi and Interior MinisterTaj Mohammad Jahidalso informed lawmakers on steps being taken to stabilize the security environment.
“The current war here is not a war of Afghans,; outsidersare interfering and supporting militants in Afghanistan,” Stanikzai alleged, saying the conflict was driven by the interests of foreign countries.
“Afghanistan is a victim of its strategic location; we should change our tactics,” Stanikzai believed, stressing the need for unity. He asked the people yo support their security forces.
Absent unity among the Afghans, the situation would not get better, he said. Pointing to clashes in Kunduz, he said: “There is no fighting among people, but outside interference and weakness of the government have eroded people’s trust in it.”
Without providing details, he said: “Political opposition, pressures and threats have caused people to take a side; people are not with the Taliban, but they are being pressured to join militants.”
In response to a question about Afghan forces’ weakness to drive the Taliban from Kunduz in the past two years, he said: “There were other priorities we had to focus on; we needed to supply our forces. In the absence of supplies and training, the enemies could achieve their goals.
“We apologiseto the Kunduz people. We could not do things we should have done before. People reserve the right to have their problems addressed,” he said.
Over the last two days, the Taliban have attacked 10 districts in 10 provinces of the country, but the forces repulsed them, Stanikzai said, lauding the performance of the forces.
Abdullah Habibi, defense minister, confirmed the weakness of Afghan forces in some areas, but said the Taliban had failed to achieve their goals in Helmand, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Farah, Ghazni and Nangarhar provinces.
Calling the conflict in Afghanistan a war against international terrorism, he said it had strong roots outside.He asked people’s representatives to support the Afghan forces and thereby motivate them into crushing militants.
Interior MinisterTaj Mohammad Jahid acknowledged terrorist groups from around the world had sneaked into Afghanistan to fightagainst local forces.
He said operations in Kunduz, Helmand, Farah and Uruzgan provinces were underway. But the offensive in Kunduz would take more time because the Taliban are hiding in civilian houses, he argued.
Jahid said the forces were trying to prevent civilian casualties, something that caused the operation to go slow.
Speaker Abdur RaufIbrahimiexpressed concern over the situation in Kunduz. “Kunduz City is about to collapseas senior security officials are there to clear the city of militants. This situation is really questionable.”
There was no doubt the conflict in Afghanistan hada foreign dimension, but Afghan security organs should at least use their capacity to protect people’s lives and properties, he concluded.
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