By: Lailuma Noori
After deadly attack of Taliban fighters on Takhar’s Bahark district, NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg asked for unprecedentedly reduction in violence in Afghanistan.
On threshold of NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, NATO General Secretary said Taliban should act upon their commitments, reduce in violence and pave the ways for ceasefire in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban must live up to their commitments, significantly reduce the levels of violence, and pave the way for a ceasefire,” Stoltenberg said.
He said NATO’s stance is conditions-based and NATO is in Afghanistan to protect its own interests and to prevent the country from becoming a terrorist safe haven.
As part of the peace process, we have adjusted our presence, Stoltenberg said, adding that “Any further adjustments remain conditions-based.”
He also said the Taliban “must cut all ties with Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups.”
On Doha talks, he said that they must negotiate in good faith. The talks in Doha offer the best chance for peace in a generation.
“They must preserve the gains made at such high price over the last two decades, including for women and girls. NATO remains committed to Afghanistan’s long-term security,” he said.
Asked about peace talks, Stoltenberg says that the talks are the “best possible chance” for lasting peace that Afghanistan has seen in a while. He said there will be many “hurdles,” and the possibility of “setbacks.”
Recent positions of Taliban show that the group has tendency to continued war and violence in the country. The group’s action clarifies that the group does not believe in ending the ongoing war, instead they believe in winning the war; therefore Taliban have increased their violence in various parts of the country.
Although Taliban fighters know that they have no other way except talks with Afghanistan government, the group is making effort to exert further pressure by increasing violence so that the group gets further concessions in talks with Afghanistan government.
On the other hand, Afghans are hopeful that all sides to the ongoing conflict should take the continued war as serious and think of maintaining peace and stability in the country address all obstacles for peace talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Currently, Taliban fighters are making effort to have further territory of Afghanistan geography as they think they will get further concessions in talks with Afghanistan government; therefore, they have intensified their attacks on various provinces of the country to capture more areas.
NATO recent remarks have come amid of increasing insecurities and attacks of Taliban fighters on Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in various parts of the country. Currently, serious fighting is going on in Helmand, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Faryab and some other provinces.