Taliban Offensive Announcement ‘Illegitimate’: ARG
The Presidential Palace, also known as ARG, in a statement on Saturday condemned the Taliban’s announcement of the so-called spring offense and said it is an evident sign of the will of the group to continue the “illegitimate” war in Afghanistan.
The statement says that the announcement comes amid “thorough” efforts by the Afghan government to end the “imposed” war in Afghanistan and amid the ongoing talks between a delegation of the group and the United States.
“Taliban’s push to continue war and corruption in Afghanistan is happening at a time that the country’s and the world’s religious scholars have called Taliban’s fight against the people of Afghanistan an ‘evil’, not Jihad,” the statement said. “The Afghan and world religious scholars have clearly said that the war in Afghanistan has no religious legitimacy and its continuance has no legitimate judgment.”
The statement added that the Taliban claims that the announcement has been made in response to the Afghan government’s security plan is “baseless”.
The statement clarifies that the Afghan government has not announced operations but it has removed all the barriers on the way of peace.
The statement says that by announcing offensives, the Taliban has often targeted “innocent people in Afghanistan” while they have been dictated by “strangers” and that they have used civilian houses as a shield.
“The people and government of Afghanistan call on those Taliban leaders and members who are against the offensive announcement to stand with the Afghans and raise their voice against this ‘illegitimate’ attempt,” the statement said.
The statement says that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have been clearly directed to take their measures based on the principle of defending the country’s sovereignty and honor.
“The Afghan government is ready to defend every corner of the country but it once again calls on the Taliban leadership to stop the illegitimate and imposed war and nod to the unconditional invitation of the Afghan government and people for peace talks,” the statement concluded.
The Taliban announced their spring offensive on Friday morning which is entitled Operation Al-Fatha – which means “victory” in Arabic.
The group said in a statement that the offensive will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of “eradicating occupation” and “cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption”.
“Our Jihadi obligation has not yet ended,” the Taliban said.
The Ministry of Defense in a statement said the offensive has been announced by the Quetta Shura, Taliban’s leadership council, and that by making such an announcement, the group wants to give morale to its fighters after “facing many defeats”.
The ministry said the Afghan Defense and Security Forces will fight the Taliban and that the offensive announcement is “propaganda”.
President Ashraf Ghani on April 2 approved the security plan for the current solar year as conflicts are intensifying between security forces and Taliban in different parts of the country.
The National Security Council said in a statement that the plan, named Khalid Security Plan, is aimed at boosting security across the country particularly the security of urban areas and highways.