Two influential political leaders at an event in Kabul on Friday warned of “severe consequences” against the Taliban if the group continues violence with the hope to win militarily. They warned they are preparing for confrontation, but they keep their hope that the country will not enter another bloody war after US and coalition forces leave.
Salahuddin Rabbani, the leader of the main faction of Jamiat-e-Islami, said today’s generation of Afghanistan is more eager than their previous generation when it comes to defending the country and its values against hostilities. He said the people are ready to safeguard the country’s hard-won gains of the last two decades as their “red line.”
Rabbani said the Taliban should not miscalculate that the foreign troops' withdrawal will help them to win militarily.
“The Taliban should know that the people of Afghanistan and the present generation believe in freedom and justice and they are determined than the past towards these components,” Rabbani said.
He indirectly questioned President Ashraf Ghani’s policy towards Pakistan, saying that “wrong policies” by some people instead pushed Afghanistan towards isolation instead of isolating Islamabad in international stage.
At the same event, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan, also expressed his all-out support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in their campaign against insurgents, and said he is ready to fight against the Taliban when necessary.
Both leaders expressed these remarks at a ceremony marking the 10th assassination anniversary of two prominent mujahideen commanders Gen. Daud Daud and Shah Jahan Noori.
“Some elements claimed that they have isolated the country, and another has been isolated, but the reality is totally different from their perception. The unfortunate thing is that today Afghanistan has been isolated due to the wrong policies,” stated Rabbani, indirectly referring to President Ashraf Ghani’s claims in the past that he had isolated Pakistan.
Mohaqiq called on the international community to save Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary for international terrorism once again.
“We firmly stand with the people, the government, the National Defense and Security Forces in support of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Mohaqiq said.
Other speakers at the event stressed the need for a thorough investigation into the targeted killing of influential figures.
“Regretfully, the situation is like the one in which people have to choose between bad and worse. People’s future shouldn’t move towards a misleading path,” said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, the deputy speaker of the Senate, the Meshrano Jirga.
“We are being killed one by one, but no voice is raised, no movement is taking shape and no decision is taken to investigate these cases. We are tired now,” said Mohib Noori, brother of a former mujahedeen commander.
Violence has remained high in the country as the withdrawal of US and coalition forces is underway. Analysts argue that a full withdrawal will create serious flaws in the security arena for the Afghan forces. But Afghanistan’s allies have said that they will continue supporting the Afghan government and the security forces after their pullout.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said that the Alliance has helped provide security in Afghanistan for almost two decades, but the Afghan government and the Afghan forces are strong enough to stand on their own feet in absence of international troops’ support.