Pres. Ghani takes new defensive measures to fight off Taliban
President Ghani has assured the Taliban militants will not be able to force the Afghan government to surrender even if the militants keep pushing it for 100 years. “The Afghan people live with dignity and now it’s the day to [live] with honor, dignity, and determination,” he said during the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, July 06, in Kabul.
The remarks come as the Taliban have intensified their campaign of expanding territorial control across the country since May 01, beginning of the foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan. Nearly 100 districts have either fallen to the militants or the control has been ping-ponging between the Afghan forces and the militants.
Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has admitted that the Taliban have captured more than 80 districts, according to the BBC Persian Service. Speaking at a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Kabul on Tuesday, July 06, he said Afghan forces left some districts as part of a plan but the militant have taken some district by force. This is the first time that a high ranking government official admits Taliban takenover of the districts.
Ghani meanwhile has said that a new plan is under work to contain the existing threats and arrange the Afghan defense and security forces in a new way against the militants. “All the requirements for the air force are considered,” Ghani was quoted as saying in a statement the presidential place issued. Ghani has added the Afghan Air Force is now increasing concentrating their operation on ensuring security.
Moreover, the President stressed the government will recruit 3,000 additional forces as mobile units who will be equipped with aerial and advanced military equipment.
Government to re-stablish Afghan Local Police
Late in 2020 the Afghan government abolished the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a militia formed of local residents under the leadership of the Ministry of Interior. Members of the militia which numbered around 20,000 were either integrated into the structure of Territorial Army, a new local militia under the leadership of defense ministry, or into the National Police structure of the interior ministry.
The government now has decided to re-establish the ALP within the structure of the Ministry of Interior. Naqibullah Fayeeq, deputy interior minister who had attended the cabinet meeting chaired by Ghani, wrote on Facebook that President Ghani has already ordered re-establishment of the ALP.
He said making militias and resorting to temporary defense forces is useless, adding that it is better for the people to join security institutions.
After rapid collapse of dozens districts into the hands of the militants, many locals and militias joined forces with the government and pushed back the Taliban militants from a number of these districts. Most of the militias belong to Jihadi figures such as General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Ata Mohammad Noor, and Mohammad Mohaqiq.
Appearing in a press conference on Tuesday, Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Adviser, claimed Afghan defense and security forces have retaken 14 districts from the militants over the past weeks. “Operations are underway in some other districts now,” he noted, assuring military operations will be launched to regain the lost territories.
Tens of government forces abandoned their bases in different parts of the country over past few months as a result of the Taliban attacks. Most of these forces complained to central government for not supplying them timely.
Mohib said around 2,300 Afghan forces who had abandoned their outposts or bases have already re-joined the government. Some of them have been stationed in the capital Kabul whereas some others have been deployed in capital cities of the provinces.
US President Joe Biden announced the US troops’ withdrawal plan on April 14. It was later welcomed by other NATO member states saying they will leave Afghanistan together. The US Central Command said on Monday, July 05, that the US has completed more than 90 percent of its entire withdrawal process from Afghanistan.