NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the government and the Afghan security forces are strong enough to stand on their own without the help of foreign troops. In an interview with the Associated Press, Stoltenberg said: “I think that the Afghans, they also realize that we have been there now for 20 years and we have invested heavily in blood and treasure in Afghanistan.”
“Afghanistan has come a long way, both when it comes to building strong, capable security forces, but also when it comes to social and economic progress. At some stage, it has to be the Afghans that take full responsibility for peace and stability in their own country,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg said that NATO countries would continue to support Afghanistan through civilian experts who will help to advise government ministries, by funding the security forces and with support for slow-moving peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
Assuming full responsibility since major parts of foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 2014, the Afghan forces had displayed commitment to the nation and the constitution through immense sacrifice and has earned unprecedented public support and trust.
The terrorist groups, including that of Taliban tried to inflict heavy casualties upon Afghan soldiers within the last five seven years. With the beginning of each spring season, the Taliban intensified, and soldiers as well as Afghan civilians are left at the greater mercy of terrorism.
The bravery of Afghan soldiers is beyond doubt and they are resilient in the face of adversity, and they have made constant improvements in efficiently and effectively coordinating and building systems of leadership and management in recent years.
Mostly likely, since the Taliban have come under the heavy air strikes and military operations, they seek to show readiness for peace talks. Meanwhile the despite of their demands fulfilled, including the release of thousands of their prisoners and withdrawal of the foreign forces, they still intend to resume the game, that is continued violence against their Afghan fellows.
Taliban viewed peace talks as a game and played dishonestly which led to mistrust. Perhaps, Afghan officials will not fall for their false claims for resuming peace talks anymore. Under the terms of “peace talks”, Afghanistan has been constantly stabbed in the back and the group has never shown will for lasting peace and stability in the country.
Afghans have given much sacrifices for peace talks and preserving the democratic values. Indeed, democracy is not gained without sacrifices and if we consider the democratic societies, people sacrificed their lives and blood to ensure democracy for their nation.
Similarly, Afghan people need to devote their lives so as to invest for gaining democracy. It is hoped that the precious lives and blood of our combatants and non-combatants will not go in vain rather they will ensure peace and stability for the nation, if not now, in the future.
Whenever negotiation is proved abortive, blood will be the only remedy to protect the rights and dignity of a nation. Afghans are sure that they are no alone and their brave forces are beside to them to protect them against any terrorist act. Our selfless soldiers, who sacrifice their lives for protecting their nation and country, are not dead. They are alive in national memory and are considered national heroes since they play heroic role for protecting the country and people.