Fight will continue alongside peace efforts: Miller

KABUL (TOLO News): Gen. Scott Miller, Commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan, says foreign forces and their Afghan counterparts will continue military campaign against the insurgents alongside supporting the peace efforts.

While visiting southern Zabul province on Saturday, Miller said he strongly supports efforts for bringing the war to an end in the country.

“Today, we are in the midst of peace talks, and at the same time, while we have peace talks, we remain committed to fighting. We support peace when it comes, but in the meantime, we fight,” said Miller.

The Chief of Army Staff Bismillah Waziri, meanwhile, warned that Afghan forces will retaliate the Taliban with full force if they continue to insist on war.

“Today, we are here in Zabul to assess the preparedness and coordination between the security forces,” Waziri said. “The security forces are fully prepared and there is good coordination and harmony between them.”

“At the same time, we conveyed them the necessary directions. So far, security forces have accomplished their duty with full responsibility and they have great morale to provide security to their people,” Waziri added.

Commander of 2015 Atal Army Corps, Imam Nazar Behbud, said there is good coordination between the Afghan and foreign forces in Zabul.

“In the south, whether it is military or civilian units, there is good coordination between them and the Resolute Support. We are working with the coalition forces on the key priorities. We have also arranged programs for operations in Uruzgan province. Our operations will be launched there in the near future but we are coordinating our operations according to the needs. So, we are very happy to see there is good coordination,” Behbud said.

Zabul Governor Rahmatullah Ziarmal, meanwhile, called on the Taliban to join peace.

“As a servant of Zabul people, I want to call on the Taliban that still there is an appropriate opportunity to come and join Zabul local government and cooperate with their brothers in the ranks of the security forces and contribute in the rebuilding and development of Zabul so that the province becomes a peaceful place,” said the governor.

This comes as peace efforts are underway at national and international levels. In a recent development, the Afghan government held the first meeting of the Reconciliation Council, which is comprised of Afghan political leaders, civil society members, religious scholars, activists and other representatives of the society, to create a “unified and clear” stance on peace.