Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid, who visited Laghman province on Sunday, said the Taliban may be seeking an advantage in the peace process by increasing their movements on the battlefield, but Khalid pledged that "no region" in the country will fall to the militants.
Based on the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February, the group pledged to stop attacks on cities as well as on international forces; however, Taliban attacks have continued in remote areas and in the center of some districts.
“There hasn’t been a reduction of the war; it has been increased. The pressure that you have seen over the last few days might be due to the ememy seeking leverage in the negotiations,” Khalid said.
Laghman officials said that fighting has increased in parts of the province and some areas are in danger of falling to the Taliban.
“Recently, the security situation in Laghman, particularly in Alishing and Alingar districts, is concerning,” Laghman governor Rahmatullah Yarmal said.
“The pressure has increased by the opposition in Laghman as we share a border with eight other provinces. If Laghman is secure, it means that eight provinces will be secure,” said Atiqullah Abdulrahimzai, head of Laghman's provincial council.
But Khalid pledged that Afghan forces will defend the country and will not let any part to fall to the Taliban.
His remarks come as the intra-Afghan negotiations between teams from Afghanistan and the Taliban are expected to begin in Doha this week.