New Delhi, Aug 2: Slamming the narrative that the Taliban has moderated its behaviour, Afghanistans President Ashraf Ghani has asserted that the extremist group has regressed in the past two decades and its behaviour has worsened.
Ghani asserted during a cabinet meeting on Sunday that the extremist group has become “more cruel and more oppressive.” It was also not interested in talks without changing the facts on the ground through a military offensive that was likely to last till winter.
“Yes, they (Taliban) have changed but negatively. They have no wish for peace, for prosperity, or progress,” he observed.
Ghani’s observations come at a time when graphic videos have appeared of Taliban snatching wailing young women from their families and gruesome chopping of hands in public of alleged criminals.
The Afghan President stressed that ” we want peace but they want surrender (subdued people and government).”
Ghani therefore asserted that Afghanistan had no choice but to go in for a “countrywide mobilization” to counter the Taliban onslaught.
“They will not engage in meaningful negotiations unless the situation changes on the battlefield; therefore, we should have a clear stance. For this, there is a need for a countrywide mobilization,” said a defiant Ghani.
Ghani pointed out that the Taliban was creating conditions that would result in an influx of foreign terroir, recreating a condition that emerged after the groups takeover of Afghanistan in 1996. Eventually the Taliban was ousted following the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in New York by Al Qaeda which had taken sanctuary in the country. Already the Islamic State has taken route in Afghanistan ,setting a precedent for other groups to follow.
Ghani’s remarks coincide with the report released by the Afghan watchdog which revealed that 1,677 civilians were killed and 3,644 more were injured in Afghanistan in the first six months of this 2021, ANI reported. This shows an 80 per cent increase in casualties compared to the same period in 2020, the report said.
“Important to note that the total number of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2020 was 2,957, including 1,213 killed and 1,744 injured. A comparison of the abovementioned figures shows that civilian casualties have increased by 80 per cent in the first six months of 2021 compared with the first six months of 2020,” the report observed.