By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani later on Friday said that Afghans will not be compelled to submission by force and that the Taliban should agree to a ceasefire and enter a political process.
Addressing a press conference following his meetings with US President Joe Biden, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other American officials and lawmakers, President Ghani said that the Afghan forces are prepared to ensure the country’s security and that he respects the decision by the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
“Force is not a way to compel an Afghan to submission. We still call on them to have a ceasefire and to engage in a political process because a political settlement is the ultimate mechanism of ending a war. As Lincoln said the best way of treating an enemy to turn him into a friend,” he said.
President Ghani said that a new chapter has been opened in Kabul-Washington relations following the announcement of the withdrawal of troops from the country. “We respect this decision,” President Ghani said. “It is dealing with a new chapter of our friendship; our strategic relationship and our people-to-people relationship and government to government relationship that we have focused on,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation who accompanied President Ghani in his trip to the US, said the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will not stop talks with the Taliban unless the group shuts the doors for negotiations.
“The absolute majority of the people of Afghanistan, they want a peaceful settlement, inclusive peaceful settlement,” Abdullah said in an interview with Reuters. “Without it, what is the scenario? Continue fighting forever? That’s not a solution.”
He added: “There was perhaps some optimism when negotiations started during the Trump administration that Taliban may be willing because they had showed those signs that had created an optimism.”
This comes as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with Arabnews has said that his country will not take military action against the Taliban if they carry out a full military takeover of Afghanistan.