President Ashraf Ghani, in an address to the Afghan Army's Selab Corps officers in the eastern province of Nangarhar, assured the forces about their funding and equipment, saying there will be no reduction in their number and facilities.
He also told the troops that the international community and Afghanistan have common interests:
“You should have no concern about the funding, equipment or training of our security and defense forces. We (Afghanistan and the international community) have common interests,” President Ghani said. “Our international friends have been with us in the worst conditions and we appreciate their cooperation and sacrifice.”
“God forbid that a situation comes about that some people are concerned with. If we stop building roads and schools for two years we will have enough money to not let any of you remain hungry even for a day or be without a facility,” he said.
There will be “no reduction in the size and equipment of the security and defense forces, Ghani said, adding that “we have resources to survive” for two years.
Ghani called on the Taliban to come and open an office in Nangarhar if they are Afghans. He questioned why they have "councils" in Pakistan. He also criticized the Taliban for attacking Afghans while stopping their attacks against US forces – as part of a peace deal that was signed in Qatar on Feb. 29.
“Security threats cannot be removed in one day with the arrival of peace,” Ghani said. “Our goal is that the Afghan Defense and Security Forces take away the voice of guns from the country.”
He reiterated that the Afghan government has the will for peace.
“We will enter the talks with thoroughness. Our goal is to achieve a result. We have the will, the capacity and the power for peace; therefore, we should be ready for negotiations,” he added.
The opportunity for peace, Ghani said, has been because of the sacrifices of the Afghan forces.