Ghani prepares for civil war, to 'mobilise and arm' civilians

The publication says Ghani feels isolated, only solution is to unite and rally groups opposed to the Taliban


News Desk August 10, 2021
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KABUL:

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani believes that peace talks with the Taliban are dead and is seeking to arm civilians and work with warlords to prevent the group from toppling his government in Kabul, reported Bloomberg on Tuesday. 

The publication quoted sources privy to the mood in the presidential palace say Ghani has been feeling increasingly isolated as the Taliban gain diplomatic support from key countries such as Pakistan, China and Russia.

The sources added that Ghani's only solution is to unite and rally groups opposed to the Taliban "in an imminent civil war".

Presidential spokesperson Mohammad Amiri has claimed that the government remains open for talks while the Taliban are back away from negotiations. 

Also read US sends Afghanistan envoy to Doha for talks as Taliban take more cities

Ghani, according to Amiri, has decided to “mobilize and arm” people to fight the insurgent group after a meeting with top warlords and political leaders.

“Unfortunately, the Taliban don’t believe in peace talks,” Amiri said and added, “They are trying to grab power by force and such acts are not acceptable to the people and government of Afghanistan.”

The last round of peace talks took place in Doha, Qatar, on July 17, with both sides agreeing to continue talks.

“We want peace, but they want our surrender,” he maintained.

The United States said it was up to Afghan security forces to defend the country after Taliban militants captured a sixth provincial capital on Monday, along with border towns and trade routes.

President Joe Biden has said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end on Aug. 31, arguing that the Afghan people must decide their own future and that he would not consign another generation of Americans to the 20-year war.

U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Qatar where he will “press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement,” the State Department said on Monday.

In talks over three days, representatives from governments and multilateral organizations will press for “a reduction of violence and ceasefire and a commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force,” the State Department said.

 

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