President Ashraf Ghani visited the Special Operations Command Center in Kabul on Wednesday and said that the Taliban has “deep ties" with Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and the group want Afghanistan “to become a haven for insurgents.”
“The government will never allow this to happen,” President Ghani said while visiting the center to give a greeting for Eid, the Presidential Palace said in a statement. Ghani pledged to provide "any kind of support," for Afghan special operations forces.
He promised to address the needs of families of the security force members who have lost their lives while serving their country.
"Our goal is to protect Afghanistan, freedom, equality and the achievements of the last 20 years, but the intention of the enemy is dark," Ghani said, "and you prove to the enemy they will take their dreams to the grave."
The president said that "the water" and the "strategic position" is Afghanistan's, and because of this "enemies are plotting and want to take revenge on us by war.”
He also said: “We have the will to establish a just and lasting peace” in the country, “but the enemies must know that we will never surrender. You have the capability to show to the world and any other force and prove your capacity.”
“Afghanistan is the common home for all Afghans, and it is our national duty to protect it until the last moment of our lives,” he added.
On Tuesday, President Ghani in a speech for Eid said recent deeds by the Taliban showed the group has “no will” for peace and, going forward, decisions by the government will be made based on that.
Ghani said the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s decision to send a high-ranking delegation to Doha for negotiations was to determine their will for peace.
“The Taliban made clear many things. Mr. Abdullah told me some minutes ago that there is no will for peace among the Taliban. We sent the delegation ... to show that we have the will for peace and we are ready for sacrifice for it, but they (Taliban) have no will for peace and we should make decisions based on this,” Ghani said.
Ghani said this Eid has been dedicated to Afghan forces to honor their sacrifices and courage, especially in the last three months.
“Afghanistan’s security and defense forces have made many sacrifices in the last 20 years, especially in the last three months, to defend this soil and honor this homeland,” Ghani said.
He added that he has spent the last week working on an “urgent and practical plan” to overcome the current situation. President Ghani said Afghans should prove in their actions that they are united.
“This plan has been prepared. It has two parts in terms of security,” he said. He added that one part of the plan is setting priorities for security and defense forces.
He said a firm stance by the people for the next three to six months will change the situation.
Ghani reiterated that there is a need for national support and national defense and said the future of Afghanistan will be made in Afghanistan and by Afghans.
He said today’s Afghanistan is not the one it was 20 years ago and every city has signs of development.
“There is no place for forming militias and arbitrariness in this country,” he said.
He said the Taliban “destroyed 260 public buildings” and that if they are Afghans they should avoid eliminating public establishments and people’s houses.
Ghani said the government released 5,000 Taliban prisoners but the group so far has not been ready for meaningful talks.