Afghan lawmakers slam Ghani govt for failing to stop Taliban advances

Ministers and political pundits express fear soon insurgent group will seize control of more provinces


News Desk June 09, 2021
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a consultative grand assembly, known as Loya Jirga, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 7. PHOTO: REUTERS

Afghan lawmakers and analysts on Tuesday lashed out at President Ashraf Ghani-led government over its failure to stop Taliban from capturing territories in the war-torn country.

At least 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured in the last 24 hours in a surge of attacks by Taliban militants as foreign forces withdraw, senior government officials said on Monday.

Fighting is now raging in 26 of the country's 34 provinces, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Casualties were "shockingly high", one added.

Tolo News reported on Tuesday that the Taliban seized control of the two more districts over the last 24 hours due to the alleged failure of Afghan forces.

The centres of Jaghato and Band Ab districts in Ghazni, and Dawlat Abad district in Faryab, have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours, according to provincial council members and local sources.

However, the Defence Ministry has said that these areas were "evacuated" or that security forces "retreated to protect civilians".

“We are concerned about Muqur and Rashidan districts (in Ghazni), which are under siege. Security forces sustained high casualties in Muqur,” said Arif Rahmani, an MP from Afghanistan’s Ghazni.

The Taliban claim they have also captured Charkh district in Logar, Do Ab and Mandol districts in Nuristan, Farsi district in Herat, Deh Yak district in Ghazni, Gezab district in Daikundi and Shinkai district in Zabul.

“Provinces will fall after 10 to 15 days. Many provinces are under siege. Security forces have no option but to leave,” said Hashim Alokozai, the head of the defence commission of the Senate.

“It has been proven that being on the defensive is not active. The government should change the method of war and should go into an offensive mode, rather than defensive,” said Hayatullah Elmi, an MP from Samangan.

Former interior minister Gen Massoud Andarabi said there is a need to pay more attention to the peace process at this critical juncture.

“If we put everything on the security sector, it will be difficult for them to get out of the situation,” Andarabi said.

Political talks between the government and the Taliban have largely stalled as Washington pulls its troops out 20 years after U.S. bombing forced the Taliban from power.

Both sides have accused the other of provoking and failing to halt attacks against civilians.

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