Choose to Either Stand with Afghan People or Be Used as Tool by Other Countries: President Ghani to Taliban

President Ghani in a public address on Monday expressed that “Every Afghan wants peace.No Afghan wants long-term presence of foreign troops”.

President Ghani said that the Taliban has two choices at this point, they can either stand with the people of Afghanistan or can choose to be used as a tool by other countries. He called on the Taliban to engage in direct talks with Afghan government, something that Taliban has been repeatedly refusing to do.

But regarding foreign forces he clarified that “Foreign forces are present in Afghanistan because it is needed”.

President Ghani said that the issue of foreign troops withdrawal could point of discussion in talks with the Taliban, “We will try to bring the number of foreign troops to zero based on an orderly plan”.

However he expressed that “We want peace quickly, but with wisdom”, and also assured that US efforts are for peace in Afghanistan.

“The mistake which was committed during Daud Khan rule should not get repeated, the mistake was that the then government was not aware of the region’s policy and this resulted in coup. We are stressing on wisdom because we are fully aware of what Najibullah experienced, we all know how he was deceived, the UN assured him that peace will be ensured, but unfortunately a disaster happened”, he continued in his address to the nation.

He also said that as an elected leader of 35 million Afghans, he is aware of the role of the region and the world, and thus also knows the possible risks and threats after peace agreement. “The victims of war are Afghans, so the peace initiative should be owned by Afghans”, President Ghani added.

He also informed that he presented a plan to US in 2017 on isolating certain countries and attracting assistance of others, and was happy to say that now positive results of the plan can be seen.

Ghani also assures as he concluded his address that the rights of people and the sovereignty of the country will be protected, “In addition to efforts being done to bring peace, the government is also working to develop the country”.

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