The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday warned that “if the Taliban want enmity than they will face a serious response.”
While introducing the new ministerial nominees for the Ministries of Defense and Interior, President Ghani said the Taliban should decide in what way they want to proceed: by seeking a political solution or continuing "enmity."
“The Taliban must choose: do you want to be in the future based on a lasting and just peace based on a political solution with dignity or do you want enmity, to which this nation will give a strong response? No one should doubt this,” he said.
President Ghani criticized the recent Taliban attacks on various parts of the country--and the targeting of civilians.
Addressing the Taliban, he said: "Why are you targeting public facilities, bridges and small bridges? Why are you placing roadside mines that kill women and children?”
"Why are you burning schools and the district governor office? Isn't the answer as clear as the sun? Do you work for others?” he mentioned.
Meanwhile, he said that the new changes in the Ministries of National Defense and Interior are intended to strengthen the security institutions.
"We all know that martyrdom on the way to the homeland is an honor, but we want life, not death for a country that is deprived of it's most basic right, which is peace.
"There is a clear need for a national, regional and international dialogue to be implemented across the country, the region and the world to say: “Is 43 years (of war) not enough?” he said.
"Here we must conclude that we will not surrender to the terrorists, we will not surrender to the grim plans, we are the future-makers, we are shaping the future," he added.
Doubts over the Taliban’s intentions for a political settlement
Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that he has grave concerns that the Taliban will not show any flexibility for a political agreement with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan once the US troops leave the country.
Abdullah said there are clear indications that the Taliban are trying to advance militarily before the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
“The point is that it will have an implication, an impact on the negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban may find themselves further emboldened and they may think, some of them at least, that with the withdrawal they can take advantage of the situation militarily, so why to get seriously into the negotiations?" said Abdullah in an interview with AP.
Abdullah however warned the Taliban not to miscalculate the situation, saying that no one will be able to win militarily.
“It will be a big miscalculation on part of the Taliban should they think that they can win militarily, and I repeat that there are no winners through the continuation of the war,” he added in the interview.