Kabul, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- The Afghan government on Saturday said it was ready for war after successive setbacks in recent weeks to peace talks with the Taliban, who have refused to return to discussions that began in September in Doha.
“Taliban left the negotiating table, making excuses, and don’t want to move toward peace,” Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor told a press conference in Kabul on Saturday.
“For this reason we have our readiness for war, in case the Taliban do not want peace, then we are obliged to be ready to defend this country”
Mohib added, “We are always ready and committed for peace, our negotiation team is still in Doha for this” but blamed the Taliban for “impeding peace.”
The official said the Taliban want to grab all the power in Afghanistan by collapsing the current system.
“Nothing is acceptable for the Taliban until they get the whole power in their hands and they don’t accept power sharing with others,” he said, but added “we are still hopeful for peace.”
Mohib said that the Taliban was still carrying out attacks in recent months despite agreements made during the stalled talks.
Afghan security forces and civilians have suffered “more casualties among them” this year in the winter season compared to the past years, Mohib said, referring to attacks in southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces and ongoing-targeted killings in urban areas of the country, which continue on a daily basis.
“The Taliban don’t have the capacity to collapse any provincial capital. If the Taliban choose war, we certainly have our readiness to defend the country and defeat them,” Afghan Interior Minister, Masoud Andarabi said at the same press conference.
“The coordination between the security forces has increased, the changes we have brought in the organizational system, all of these things are aimed that if the Taliban choose war, we are ready for it,” Deputy Defense Minister, Shahmahmood Miakhel, said.
These remarks come as the Taliban have not taken part in peace talks meetings for nearly the past three weeks.
During the four months of the peace talks in Doha, which began on 12 September, the two sides have so far failed to make any significant progress and have only agreed on the rules and procedures of the talks. EFE-EPA