By: Suraya Raiszada
Following coronavirus outbreak in the country, Taliban has informed of postponement of their spring offensive in the country. The step has been met by various reactions. A spokesperson to the Taliban group in Qatar Suhail Shaheen in his recent tweet said that the group has postponed their spring operations due to coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Meanwhile, leading body of the Taliban group has said that all health organizations including World Health Organization have been assured of cooperation and coordination for the prevention of the coronavirus outbreak in their control areas.
Related to postponement of Taliban’s spring offensive, a number of Afghan experts in their interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent say it is a piece of good news that Taliban wants to respect and observe human norms, but they expect that the Taliban should stop violence and join peace process to control and defeat the coronavirus in the country.
“Taliban should stop and join peace process to control the coronavirus outbreak in the country,” said Hadi Khalid, an Afghan military expert and former deputy minister of interior.
He added that unfortunately by ending each year and starting another new year Taliban announced their spring offensive against the people and government and caused civilian casualties and destruction of the country.
The Taliban group’s statement in connection with postponement of their spring offensive has come amid of increasing clashes between ANDSF and Taliban fighters in various parts of the country.
According to Hadi Khalid, each year Taliban reduce their operations during the winter season, but they announce their spring offensive when weather gets warmer.
Another Afghan military expert Elham believes that it is time for the Taliban group to stop violence and hold direct talks with Afghanistan government to end the ongoing war in the country as continuation of war and killing people is meaningless.
“As coronavirus outbreak has reached Afghanistan, the people expect the Taliban group to stop their attacks and violence as increasing of clashes between ADNSF and Taliban could harm the ongoing peace process,” said Elham, an Afghan military expert.
On the other hand, a Kabul University lecturer Hashimi believes that the ongoing war can be ended when international consensus is created for maintaining peace in the country and all sides to the conflict show tendency for peace and direct talks to each other.
“During the current situation, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) should be fully supported as they are the real defenders of the country,” Hashimi said. Meanwhile, a number of Kabul residents who are now hopeful for a peaceful year, but by expressing concern over starting the spring offensive by the Taliban group say the country’s ANDSF should have particular plans for controlling of the Taliban attacks during the coming new year.
“1398 ended with full of concerns and security threats. Besides, the recent coronavirus outbreak in the country is seriously threatening the humanity in particular the people of Afghanistan,” said Farid, a Kabul resident.
He said that the people were really tired of continued war and did not want to start their New Year in violence; therefore, all sides to the conflict should end the ongoing war through a political settlement and work for lasting peace in the country.
It is worth mentioning that Taliban had started their spring offensive titled ‘Al-Fath’ against ANDSF and the people of Afghanistan, while ANDSF had started their spring offensive by the name of ‘Khalid’ last year.