Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, during the induction ceremony of General Yasin Zia as the new chief of army staff and Shah Mahmood Miakhel as the deputy minister of the interior on Thursday, stressed that the Taliban "are killing Afghan citizens in the name of Islam," but are "at peace with the Americans."
“I do not know what reason (the Taliban) have for fighting with Afghan and Muslim soldiers, but they say they have a ceasefire with the Americans,” said Khalid.
Khalid also said that violence has not decreased:
“Not only was the Reduction in Violence not implemented, instead the scale of violence increased,” said Khalid, referring to the surging Taliban violence.
“If you (Taliban) make peace, we will wait for you with warm hugs, and if you fight, we will wait for you with warm bullets,” said General Yasin Zia, the newly-appointed chief of army staff.
On the one hand, with the release of Taliban prisoners the Afghan government is preparing for dialogue between Afghans, and, on the other hand, with the escalation of violence, Kabul is preparing to suppress the Taliban by introducing a new army chief and first deputy defense minister.
National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib called on the country's security and defense institutions to not remain indifferent to the Taliban's military moves, and he sent a message to the Taliban: “ All the children of their elders are studying in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad and have no acquaintance with their own country, but they (Taliban) themselves come and destroy their country. I tell the Taliban leaders to abandon this shameful life,” said Mohib.
The Taliban's war against government forces and the group's peace with the Americans has raised questions.
“What (the Taliban) are doing has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with Islam nor with Islamic values,” said Abdullah Qarloq, the deputy head of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, led by Dostum.
The Taliban attribute one of the reasons for the ongoing war to the delay in the release of all 5,000 prisoners by the Afghan government, but Kabul says some 600 prisoners on a Taliban list will not be released because of the criminal profiles of the detainees.