Afghanistan defends offensive ops against Taliban after Russia’s caution
Afghanistan has said its decision to resume offensive operations against the Taliban and other terrorist groups following two attacks on Tuesday that killed scores of Afghans, including newborns, was a “legitimate defensive position”.
Tuesday’s attack on the maternity hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to switch from an “active defensive” mode to an “offensive” mode and to resume attacks on the Taliban.
The Taliban has distanced itself from the attack on the maternity hospital, which was carried out by four suicide attackers clad in military uniforms, according to reports in the Afghan media. All the attackers were also killed.
“In order to keep its people secure and thwart such terrorist attacks, the Afghan government declared its legitimate defensive position against those who claim the responsibilities for such incidents,” Afghan ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.
“Undoubtedly, any country who would face such attacks ending with the martyrdom of infants and mothers, would take the same position. In fact, the Afghan government has made its best efforts for bringing sustainable peace, and would continue its efforts,” it added.
The statement came after Russia’s presidential envoy Zamir Kabulov told TASS that Ghani’s order to launch an offensive against the Taliban and the suspension of the release of Taliban prisoners will halt the peace process in the war-ravaged nation.
“This is regrettable because by his actions the head of the Kabul administration actually stalls the process of moving towards the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations. Such actions clearly indicate that Kabul is not much interested in the early launch of intra-Afghan talks,” Zamir Kabulov was quoted as saying by TASS.
The Afghan foreign ministry said the government took an initiative and developed a peace plan in three articles—ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic, immediate start of talks and release of prisoners from both sides.
It pointed out that the proposal was firmly endorsed by neighbours and regional and international colleagues but there was “no positive respond from Taliban”.
“Had the Taliban positively responded to that proposal, such terrorist attacks, no matter who is responsible for, could have been averted,” it said.
Afghanistan called upon other nations to announce their endorsement of the peace proposal and persuade the Taliban to join the peace process.
“It is evident, that those who haven’t positively responded should take the responsibility for having no progress in the peace process,” it said.
“Peace is the most important priority of the Afghan government, meanwhile, the Afghan government would utilize all resources to ensure the security and defend its people.”