More than 28,000 Afghan forces sacrificed their lives in fight against terrorism during the past 4 years
November 13, 2018
Kabul- More than 28,000 Afghan security forces have been sacrificed their precious lives and became martyrs since 2015 when they assumed full responsibility for security from foreign combat troops, President Ashraf Ghani said on Monday.
Addressing a US audience via teleconference, Ghani said that Afghanistan is not losing the war to the Taliban and is not at risk of collapse.
“The Taliban are not in a winning position,” Ghani told the US audience at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.
He said that his administration is making efforts for a negotiated peace with the Taliban.
“I feel that it is now not a question of if, but when,” Ghani said of a peace agreement.
“All wars have to end politically. There are very few wars, particularly the wars of the 21st century, that are going to end militarily,” he said.
Afghan forces assumed full responsibility for security in 2015 after most of international troops left the country to mark end of their 13-year-old combat mission.
“In the same period, 28,529 of our security forces have lost their lives and become martyrs,” Ghani said.
Commenting on Pakistan which has been harbouring various terrorist groups, Ghani said that last month’s killing of General Abdul Raziq has “brought an intense level of distrust.”
“We equally offer peace to Pakistan to put an end to the undeclared state of hostilities between our two countries,” Ghani said.
“Should peace not prevail, my other prediction, that the two societies would go to a state of mutual distrust and increasing cultural and social hostility resembling France and Germany of 1870-1914, is likely to happen,” he said.
The president said he had not seen a “substantive and measurable change” from Pakistan under its new prime minister, Imran Khan.
He said he that wanted assurances in any peace deal that the Taliban, if laying down their arms, were not simply “going to be replaced by another state-sponsored group.”