KABUL: Addressing the nation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, President Ghani extended his sincere congratulations and greetings to the entire Islamic world on the auspicious festival, adding this year Ramadan observed amidst spread of corona pandemic, which gravely affected people in Afghanistan and across the globe.
“I appreciate all our elders for attending here during this hazardous time.
However we had the honor of hosting our people on such a day at the Presidential Palace, this time we need to limit the number of people. On the one hand, offering Eid prayer is incumbent upon us according to the Shariah/Islamic Law, and on the other hand the risky situation requires adopting preventive and precautionary measures,” he added, asking people to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Public Health.
“I extend my gratitude to Public Health Ministry staff, health professionals in private sector, doctors, medics and nurses for fighting the invisible enemy. We wish health and wellbeing for all our health personnel, who are the first responders and fighting the contagion on the front line. Based on the Cabinet’s decision, special benefits and privileges have been taken into account for them.”
The president also thanked Dr. Abdullah for accepting to lead the High Council for National Reconciliation. “It is a heavy burden resting on our shoulders, but we can carry the burden by sharing it.”
The president welcomed the Taliban’s announcement of a cease-fire and instructed all Afghan Defense and Security forces to thoroughly observe the ceasefire and adopt a defensive posture.
“I repeat: I instructed all Afghan Defense and Security forces to thoroughly observe the cease-fire. I hope this Eid becomes a joyous and happy moment for all our compatriots, as it was during the three-day Eid ceasefire two years ago.”
The president added: “As a responsible government, we want to take another step. We declare that the Taliban prisoners’ release process will be accelerated for which necessary measures will be in place. In the meantime, I call upon the Taliban to release the Afghan defense and security forces in their captivity as soon as possible.”
“Some circles have instilled into the Taliban that accepting a ceasefire will weaken them; and in case they observing a cease-fire for a long period of time, they will lose their political influence/force. I want to clarify that the Taliban are a reality of the Afghan society. Where the Taliban can prove this political influence is the negotiation table, not the battle field. And we need to understand that announcement of ceasefire by the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that has been my and Dr. Abdullah’s stance for several years, signifies our strength, not weakness.”
“The war brought nothing, but adversity and misery particularly for Afghan women. Afghan women are at the front row of political consensus for peace like the Afghan politicians here and the entire Afghan nation,” the president added.
The president also said that Peace was our national demand and it was needed to understand that the people of Afghanistan will be the owner of peace agreement, not individuals and groups. “It is the Afghan people that ultimately approve the peace agreement. I ask the Taliban to avoid harming the Afghan nation. Anybody who gets wounded or martyred will cause another irreparable suffering and damage.”
“From a Sharia perspective, all our Islamic clerics agree that the ongoing war is not legitimate. Therefore, the fundamental approach is to enter into peace negotiations, where the Afghan government’s negotiating delegation stands ready to immediately begin the process. This is an inclusive delegation that represents the Afghan nation and government in which presence of all segments of the Afghan society is ensured.”
The president reaffirmed his commitment to support Afghan forces financially and spiritually and to provide them with better equipment, enablers and food.
“I extend gratitude to our Defense and Security forces that are fighting and paying the ultimate sacrifice to protect their compatriots and bring stability to their homeland. I am grateful to their families who send their sons to serve at the ranks of the Afghan forces to defend the homeland.”
The president said that a stable Afghanistan will lead to a stable region, and a prosperous Afghanistan will ensure prosperity in the region.“Regional connectivity and ample regional cooperation is the key to our future success. Here I want to call upon all our regional partners and our neighbors, near and far, to work together with the Afghan government and people for peace and enhancing stability in the Afghanistan and the region,” he added.
The Kabul Times