KABUL (Pajhwok): Civilian casualties declined over the past four weeks at a time when last week the Taliban captured some districts and in some provinces locals picked up arms to fight the rebels.
- Withdrawing troops but support to Afghanistan will continue: President Biden
- Terrorism is not over, President Biden may suspended troops pull out: Michal McCaul
- We respect US exit decision, Afghanistan to address its problems through unity: Ghani
- Taliban should clarify intension regarding peace and conflict, says Ghani
- A real Islamic System should be established and the Doha Agreement enforced: Taliban
- After the fall of tens of districts to Taliban, local people in some province picked up arms
- We will deal severely with those providing arms to common people: Taliban
- Common people becoming armed may face the country with challenges: Experts
- Civilian casualties down 27 percent last week compared to the previous week
Attacks and Civilian Casualties:
Last week, 30 civilians were killed and 50 others injured in 15 attacks in 12 provinces — Kandahar, Nuristan, Paktia, Khost, Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Badghis, Logar, Baghlan, Faryab and Samangan provinces.
In these attacks, security forces and the Taliban also suffered casualties but Pajhwok did not publish the figures because enough information with authentic sources was not available to support casualty figures.
President Ashraf Ghani last week said: “Being a responsible and legitimate government we are committed to all humanitarian laws during conflict but the Taliban undermined all these laws.”
This comes as the Taliban often held the Afghan government responsible for civilian casualties.
President Ghani’s trip to US:
President Ashraf Ghani and chairman of High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), Dr. Abdullah Abdullah had traveled to US last Thursday.
The president met with his US counterpart, Joe Biden on Friday. Biden during the meeting stressed on the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and end to ‘meaningless violence’. He said that his country would continue political, financial and military assistance to Afghanistan.
This comes as a US senator; Michael McCaul said that the threat of terrorism was still persisted. He hoped that hat president Biden will halt the pull out of US troops from Afghanistan and would address prevailing concerns in this regard.
President Ghani during his meeting with Biden respected the US’ decision on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and said that Afghanistan was passing from a critical situation, but would handle it with unity and commitment.
Ghani also met with a number of other US officials during his trip. He talked for around two and half an hour behind closed doors with CIA director, William Joseph Burns
HCNR chairman, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah talked with Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari foreign minister, Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Bin Jasim Al-Thani in Turkey.
The Turkish president said that his country supported peace and stability in Afghanistan and would always stand beside Afghans. The Qatari foreign minister also said that his country supported peace in Afghanistan.
War or peace?
After the fall of dozens of districts to the Taliban’s control in several provinces of the country, a number of people in Jawzjan, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kapisa, Parwan, Balkh, Faryab, Takhar, Baghlan, Herat, Zabul, Khost and Samangan provinces have took arms to fight in support of the government against the Taliban.
The Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior said that the government was ready to provide necessary resources including weaponry for upraising people against the Taliban.
However, Taliban said that they will ‘respond decisively against those who still fuel civil wars in the country, arm people under labels of upraising, Arbaki and irresponsible men, or using civilians for staying in the illegitimate power…”
In a Pajhwok report titled ‘Unregulated arms distribution may lead to dire consequences’, a number of political analysts say that if armament of people not managed properly, it would possibly lead to a long civil war, worsened situation and military coup in the country.
People want peace and ceasefire:
A number of lawmakers and civil society activists from Kunduz province in a gathering in Kabul last week asked warring sides to stop conflicts and agree on a ceasefire. They asked the government to pay attention for the security of the province.
Participants of the gathering asked the Taliban and government not to use civilians as their shields and start peace negotiations as soon as possible.
Intra-Afghan negotiations started around 10 months ago in Doha, but the two sides agreed only on the procedure of talks during the period and the negotiations are currently idle.