Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), on Wednesday said that the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan paved the way for the Taliban to increase the level of violence.
Abdullah said that the Taliban is expanding the war and seeks to be the winner on the battlefield but it will not be able to dominate Afghanistan militarily.
The comments came at an event in Kabul organized by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and UN Women titled “Gender-Responsive Ceasefires.”
“The Taliban used the opportunity (troop withdrawal) and tried to be the winner on the battlefield, and their day-and-night activity indicates this reality,” said Abdullah.
“It is impossible for the Taliban to take over Afghanistan through war,” cautioned Abdullah.
Meanwhile, the UN also called on the Afghan warring sides not to lose the current opportunity for peace.
Abdullah said the Taliban will be responsible for a "major historic loss" if they insist on fighting and reject the current opportunity for peace.
“The Afghans have been pushing for a ceasefire since the start of the talks, the entire international community and the UN secretary general have called for a ceasefire,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah also praised the sacrifices of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF).
“We support these forces (ANDSF) who are the guardians of peace in the future and we should encourage their morale, we should avoid making them worry unnecessarily,” said Abdullah.
“Ceasefire and ending hostilities are the fundamental demand of the people, expansion of violence shouldn’t obstruct efforts for peace,” said Shahrzad Akbar, the head of AIHRC.
Mette Knudsen, deputy special representative (Political) for Afghanistan in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA):
“Afghanistan has experienced a short period of respite during Eid ceasefires that have been put in place both by the Taliban and the government this year and the years past. These have been positive steps and gave some hope to people and a limited sense of safety, but they are definitely not enough and the violence remains unacceptably high,” she said.
Meanwhile, Shahrzad Akbar, the head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), also said that the warring parties should stop further violence and make peace.
Afghan women are worried about their future following a dramatic surge in the level of targeted attacks on women in recent months, said UNAMA.