President Ghani’s order of shifting the Afghan forces from “active defense” mode to “offensive” one has triggered national and international reactions.
Following Tuesday’s heinous attacks in Kabul and Nangarhar, President Ghani in a video statement ordered Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to switch from “active defense” mode to “offensive” one.
Pointing at attacks on the hospital in Kabul, the funeral in Nangarhar, and some other acts of violence, President Ghani said that the Taliban and Daesh have killed innocent Afghans, including women and children.
The president has also said that the Taliban has intensified its attacks and violence against the call of the Afghan government and the nation for a ceasefire and bringing peace.
Consequently, the Taliban released a statement condemning the attacks in Kabul and Nangarhar, considering them of Daesh’s work, noting it is due to the operations of the Taliban “that there remain no known Daesh strongholds in any part of Afghanistan”.
Also, the statement underlines that “such attacks are jointly planned and executed from guesthouses in Kabul and other cities by Daesh members” and the government “intelligence in order to batter the nation, provide a space for the implementation of failed policies and to take anti-Islam and anti-peace steps”.
The Taliban statement says that since the singing of the US-Taliban agreement, the Afghan government “has been trying to create hurdles for the peace process”.
“From deliberately delaying the prisoner release process which was both an important step for agreement implementation and launch of intra-Afghan negotiations and could have safeguarded the lives of thousands of prisoners from the current threat of coronavirus, to the current declaration of offensive operations”, the Taliban underscored in the statement.
The Taliban says it is “fully prepared to counter all enemy movements and offensives” noting that “from now onwards the responsibility of further escalation of violence and its ramifications” will be the responsibility of the government.
On the other hand, the United States, in a press release Tuesday, condemning the Kabul and Nangarhar attacks noted, “We note the Taliban has denied any responsibility and condemned both attacks as heinous. The Taliban and the Afghan government should cooperate to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“As long as there is no sustained reduction in violence and insufficient progress towards a negotiated political settlement, Afghanistan will remain vulnerable to terrorism. The Afghan people deserve a future free from terror, and the ongoing peace process continues to present a critical opportunity for Afghans to come together to build a united front against the menace of terrorism,” the US underlines through the statement.
Zalmay Khalilzad US Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, who is the axis in the Afghan peace process, in a tweet, called on Taliban and the Afghan government to cooperate “against a common enemy that perpetrates such crimes” noting “Failure to do so, leaves Afghanistan vulnerable to terrorism, perpetual instability & economic hardship.”
BRIEF HISTORY: SINCE 2002, PRESS RESTRICTIONS WERE GRADUALLY RELAXED AND PRIVATE MEDIA DIVERSIFIED. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE PRESS IS PROMOTED IN 2004.
SINCE THEN MORE THAN 30 AFGHANISTAN BASED TELEVISION CHANNELS BOTH TERRESTRIAL AND SATELLITE AND AROUND 100 RADIO FM STATIONS STARTED OPERATION IN THE COUNTRY.
FOREIGN RADIO STATIONS, SUCH AS VOICE OF AMERICA AND BBC WORLD SERVICE, ALSO BROADCAST INTO THE COUNTRY.