On Thursday, Atta Mohammad Noor, the acting governor of Balkh province, cautiously welcomed President Ashraf Ghani's recent remarks on a military oriented stance on insurgents but said that the Afghan people hope that these policy shifts are not just symbolic and temporary.
In a historic a key note address to a joint session of Afghan national assembly earlier this week, Ghani set aside the peace and reconciliation process with specific Taliban factions whom he believes are waging war against the nation on the orders of foreigners and pledged to deal with such groups from a military standpoint, something the Afghan public widely welcomed.
Though Ghani's prospects of more robust military action against the militants drew widespread reaction in the country, many hope that the government will deliver on the promises to curb insurgency.
With calls growing for the implementation of Ghani's remarks on the Taliban which came in the wake of last week's deadly attack in Kabul that killed 64, pressure is mounting for the president to address the promises and review policy options that the Afghan government in the past found unpalatable.
Addressing a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of victory of Mujahedeen against pro-Moscow government of Najibullah, the Balkh governor cautiously welcomed Ghani's Taliban remarks. But expressed hope that they will not be only symbolic.
"The president's speech to the national assembly was optimistic, but there is hope that these statements are put into practice now," Noor said.
In his speech to a joint session of the Afghan parliament on Monday, Ghani termed Daesh militants, al-Qaeda, Haqqani network and some Taliban factions as enemies of Afghanistan and the people, pledging severe military action against them.
Ghani's remarks elicited a wide reaction among the Afghan people with the majority of them saying they are now waiting to see whether these commitments are met by the government.
While many in the country slam the two major events in the history of Afghanistan – April 26, 1978, the communists day and April 27, 1992, the victory day of mujahideen against Dr. Najibullah's government, Noor however, confirmed the mistakes committed by the Mujahedeen after victory in terms of governance, but said that we should not disgrace the two historic events—the 7th and 8th Sawr.
"We cannot justify those who were sitting on Sar Asyab of Kabul and were hitting the city with rockets," Noor said.
"Certain groups who later integrated with the Mujahedeen plundered Kabul and we cannot justify their actions, however, we do not know whether they belonged to former army, militia groups," he added.
The gathering was also addressed by Fatana Gillani, the chairperson of Afghan Women's Association in which she expressed deep concerns over the efforts of some particular groups that intend to create division among the people and worsen the security situation.
"I call on all Afghans to unite as they were united during Jihad," she said.
Meanwhile, a number of residents in Balkh have said that Afghans must unite so that the chaotic events of 7th and 8th Sawr are not repeated again in the country.
"The people of Afghanistan did not live in peace after the 8th Sawr, some people exploited the name of Mujahedeen and pushed the people of Afghanistan into destructions and bloodshed," Balkh resident Abdul Basir said.