Ghani slams Taliban and Pakistan for ongoing ‘bloodshed’

President Ashraf Ghani has accused the Taliban and Pakistan of perpetuating the “bloodshed and destruction” in Afghanistan.

Addressing a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Ghani stated that the Taliban have chosen to fight instead of making peace and that “we will stand up against them.”

“The people of Afghanistan should be alert, upon the announcement of the US’ withdrawal I called on the Taliban and Pakistan to take a decision and they have taken the decision to fight. The responsibility for bloodshed and destruction lies with the Taliban and their supporters,” Ghani said.

Ghani stressed that there is neither a deal with nor a surrender to the Taliban. “We live a dignified life, now is the day of honor, determination, and will.”

“If the Taliban think they can subdue us; they will not achieve this goal in a hundred years. The Taliban and their supporters are responsible for bloodshed and destruction,” he noted.

Ghani’s warning comes amid a substantial increase in violence across the country, and specifically in the north.

Since the start of the foreign troops withdrawal on May 1, the Taliban has ramped up attacks and seized dozens of districts across the country – setting off warning bells both inside and outside the country.

The insurgent group has also captured a number of border crossings along the Tajikistan-Afghanistan frontier, which has given rise to concern among the country’s northern neighbors.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday told the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon that he was ready to provide the necessary support to his Tajik counterpart to ward off any threats emanating from Afghanistan.

In a statement issued by Putin’s office, Moscow said the two leaders had discussed the situation along the Tajik-Afghan border in a telephone conversation.

“The discussion focused on the difficult situation on the Tajik-Afghan border caused by the escalation of armed confrontation in Afghanistan, including in the border area,” the statement read.

“Vladimir Putin confirmed his readiness to provide Tajikistan with the necessary support, both bilaterally and within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation,” read the statement.

On Sunday, over 1,000 Afghan military personnel retreated to Tajikistan as Taliban fighters closed in on border crossings between the two countries.

According to reports, 1,037 Afghan military personnel crossed into Tajikistan following armed clashes with the Taliban.

Reports also emerged over the weekend that at least 300 Afghan security force members crossed into Tajikistan on Saturday amid heavy clashes with the Taliban.