Ghani gives Taliban last chance to join peace process

KANDAHAR CITY: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said the Taliban should forget they could defeat the Afghan forces and should reconcile with the government as the only option with them.

Ashraf Ghani once again called on the Taliban to use this last opportunity to join the peace process. Ghani made the request during a ceremony in Kandahar province where the US Forces handed over another two Black Hawk helicopters to the Afghan Air Force.

Also at the ceremony was NATO and US Forces Commander General John Nicholson and other security officials. Ghani asked the Taliban to prepare themselves for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and let the country resolve the fundamental problems with its neighbors.

“Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process is the main way of peace. We should resolve our problems through talks, and resolve the issue with our neighbors fundamentally through state to state talks,” said Ghani.

Meanwhile, NATO and US forces Commander General John Nicholson said at same event the United States will win the war in Afghanistan and the insurgents, especially the Taliban, will not win the war and that it is better for them to join the peace process.

“The war against terror is not just an Afghan or regional fight, it is not just against ISIS (Daesh), al Qaeda, the Taliban or Haqqani, the war against terror is one that we fight on behalf of all of humanity, against all the terrorists,” said Nicholson.

Two Black Hawk helicopters were handed over to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) during the event as part of the Pentagon’s promise to equip the Afghan army.

Nicholson said insurgents are fighting on behalf of Afghanistan’s neighbors and called on them to stop such fights and killing innocent people.

“Now we stand here together and watch the first Black Hawk helicopters arrive for the Afghan Air Force. The enemies’ choice could not be any clearer, stop fighting on behalf of the neighbors of Afghanistan, stop killing innocent civilians, stop bringing hardship and misery,” Nicholson added.

Ghani said the number of Afghan Air Force aircraft is increasing and the forces will be tripled in the near future. “Today the Afghan Air Force controls Afghanistan air space,” Ghani said.

Afghan defense ministry meanwhile said by implementing the Four Year Security Plan, most of challenges in the Afghan army will be resolved.