The commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, in a visit to the north of the country with Deputy Defense Minister Shah Mahmood Miakhil said there is a need that the Taliban should reduce their violence.
“The Afghan people want peace,” said Miller. “And it’s a requirement the Taliban lower their violence. We’ve talked with the Afghan security forces- all violence does is continue to create more violence. And so, the Afghan security forces will continue to take care of the Afghan people. But at the same time, we’ll be prepared to pursue the right paths toward a peaceful settlement.”
The visit happened on August 20 by Miakhil and Gen. Miller to review security operations in the north and reaffirm NATO support for Afghan security and defense forces, according to a statement by NATO's Resolute Support mission.
“We came here with Gen. Miller to speak to the Corps commander and assess the security situation in the north and see what we can do [to assist],” said Miakhil.
Mikhail said while security forces continue to push back enemy combatants, their goal is to end the fighting, gain the trust and respect of the people and enable peace.
“War is not our goal; it’s a tool so we can provide a secure environment for our people to live in and create the possibility of education for their kids,” said Miakhil.
Taliban violence has remained high despite ongoing peace efforts by the Afghan government. The Defense Ministry on Saturday morning reported clashes between security forces and the Taliban in Faryab and Badakhshan provinces in the north of Afghanistan and said both happened last night, leaving heavy casualties to the militants.
“However, if the opposition continues their level of violence, we will have no objection in fighting a war against them. We are always ready to give a jaw-breaking response and stand against anyone who creates problems against our people,” said Brig. Gen. Haybatullah Alizai, Commander of the Afghan National Army 209th Shaheen Corps.