GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Reacting to Taliban’s latest remark about the Afghan national army, hundreds of people staged a rally and gave away flowers to security personnel in a show of solidarity in southeastern Paktia province on Tuesday.
Recently Taliban’s chief negotiator in Qatar Abbas Stanikzai in a video clip had said the 17-year old Afghan army, police and intelligence personnel would naturally dissolve with the US forces’ pullout from the country.
The marchers in Gardez, Paktia’s capital, termed the Taliban’s statement about the Afghan army’s dissolution as a demand of regional countries and urged the Afghan government not to talk with Taliban militants at the cost of national values.
Mohammad Rahman Qadari, a member of the Provincial Council and an organizer of the rally, told Pajhwok Afghan News that talking about a provisional government in Kabul meant starting from zero. He said participants of the Moscow talks wanted to cut deals on national interests in pursuit of their personal gains.
He said: “We will let no one dismantle the Afghan Army, it is our army, we will defend it, anyone who is interested in peace should first accept the Afghanistan Constitution and the current government and after that we shall go for the presidential election. The Moscow meeting does not represent the Afghans.”
Hussian, another protestor and a resident of Gardez, said he had experienced a bitter past and did not want to see his country in ruins again.
He said: “We don’t want our army to be to dissolved. We saw what happened when the Afghan army vanished in the past. We support our security forces and want peace and security our country.”
Farid Taskin, a civil society activist, told Pajhwok that the ongoing conflict had been imposed on the Afghans in the name of Islam by regional intelligence and peace talks that excluded the Afghan government would in Moscow and other countries would not bear fruits.
Taskin said: “Islam preaches peace. Individuals who are talking peace with Russian generals in Moscow and with US generals in Qatar were not our jihadi leaders, they were spies. We don’t want a provisional government because these spies want the nation divided for their personal interest.”
A number of protesting residents expressed similar views and voiced their support for Afghan security forces.
Meanwhile, Paktia Special Unit forces deputy commander Abdullah Mangal termed the Afghan army’s dissolution as the enemy’s demand and said with people’s support they would give a jaw-breaking response to the enemies.
Mangal said the Afghan forces would fight till their last breath and defend the country and the people.
“The enemies would take this dream to their grave as the president said the enemies should wait for a century but we say they have to wait for 1,000 years.”