The United States has already handed over to Afghans most weapons it was planning to give, and Afghans are using it to defend the people and territorial integrity of the country, the Afghan president’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, told Sputnik.
“So, they will be handing over some equipment, but most of it had already happened. And we’re using it as we speak and defending the Afghan people and Afghanistan’s territorial integrity”, Mohib said when asked if the US would transfer the remaining military equipment to the Afghan government forces after leaving the country.
Most US troops have already left, with only a limited number of soldiers left, “and those troops were involved in training and advising and assisting capabilities”, the adviser said.
The United States and NATO began withdrawing from the country officially in May. This comes more than a year after the United States and the Taliban radical movement reached an agreement, where the pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan was one of the conditions. They also agreed that the Taliban and the Afghan government should begin talks.
Peace Talks With Taliban
At the same time, the national security adviser noted that the government is struggling to see a positive response from the Taliban militants.
“We, unfortunately, have not seen enthusiasm or good faith efforts from the Taliban for peace talks so far”, Mohib said.
He noted that Afghan forces expect to retaliate against the Taliban movement’s recent offensive.
The government forces are “absolutely” planning a counterattack, Mohib said.
“The Taliban used the vacuum in which the Americans and other international troops were retrograding and launched an unannounced offensive. And that took many of the Afghan security forces by surprise. Because like I said, we were expecting peace, not war”, he said.
However, the people of Afghanistan are “determined” and want to “live in freedom,” Mohib continued.
“We want to see Taliban included in the government and be represented, but Afghans are not ready to have Taliban dominate all of Afghanistan and dictate the way Afghan people must live”, the security adviser said.
As serious as the situation is, the government hopes that it will not completely lose control of the north, Mohib said.
“The Afghan national defense and security forces along with the people who have come to support them are working to manage the security situation there”, the security adviser said.
In the last few weeks, the Taliban has intensified its offensive amid the gradual pullout of international forces. The withdrawal of foreign troops was one of the points in the deal the Taliban and the United States reached in February of last year. The beginning of the dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghan government was another point.