Ghani on warpath!
AT a time when the international community was expecting resumption of direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban to find ways and means for restoration of peace in the neighbouring country, its President Ashraf Ghani has apparently opted for a harsher course that could further complicate things there. Speaking in Kabul on Monday, he stepped back from attempts to engage Taliban in peace talks and vowed that Afghanistan will instead execute enemies of state and undertake preparations for an extended war.
The Afghan President might have his own reasons for discarding the path of peace and reconciliation and pinning hopes on use of force in settling a problem that is refusing to subside for decades. It is, however, a known reality that Afghanistan has been pushed back to almost stone-age by the internal conflicts and foreign military aggressions and it badly needs peace and tranquility. It is unfortunate that Ashraf Ghani, who was considered to be a wise and serene leader, wants to tread the path that the United States followed for long, but miserably failed. One fails to understand how Ghani intends to prepare for an extended war, given state of the wretched economy, falling morale of his forces and resource constraints in training and equipping his troops and police force. The Afghan President seems to be disappointed due to rapid advances made by Taliban during their spring offensive and refusing to join peace talks unconditionally. It is also strange that Ghani has advised Pakistan to battle Taliban than try to bring them into peace talks despite the fact that Pakistan has launched an all out war against terrorists and there is no distinction of good or bad Taliban in this regard. It is also pertinent to point out that Pakistan has repeatedly made it clear that it has limited influence over Taliban and that it would go whole-heartedly for restoration of peace in Afghanistan. We hope that sanity would prevail and instead of trying to tread the dangerous path, Ashraf Ghani would respond positively to all efforts aimed at reconciliation.