| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

‘Hope Pakistan begins to play more constructive role in peace process’: Afghan ambassador

Air power is essential for Afghan security forces to successfully take on the Taliban, and the Afghan government is looking to India and the US to provide more combat helicopters and associated logistics support, Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay said on Friday in an interview with Hindustan Times. On Pakistan’s role in the peace process, Mamundzay said Islamabad has not delivered as expected.

 Following the announcement by the US president about the withdrawal of US and international troops, the Taliban has waged a war against the Afghan government and the public. And that has made the situation very dire, not only in terms of security, but this has caused a humanitarian catastrophe. Over 200,000 people have been displaced since April 14, 2021, close to 4,000 civilians who have been killed. So this could have been handled in a more organised and planned manner. Now, the withdrawal would be completed in several weeks time. We were expecting that we will go through a very troubling time once these forces leave. And we are right, we are going through that phase now.

There is an active conflict going on and in almost 150 districts, the Taliban have captured many centres of our districts. Now, just remember that some of our districts are very large. So it’s difficult for them to hold the entire district. But what is significant for both the Taliban and our government is to hold the centre or capital of the district. Taliban has been capturing a number of capitals of the districts, which has caused an outcry from the local population and the government. In the past three days, we have been able to recapture 10 districts. Now, this would continue for a number of months, we would capture districts, they would recapture them. The withdrawal comes in a very un-fashioned manner. This could have been handled properly.