Official: Taliban defeated on battleground, talks table

TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Deputy interior minister Mohammad Anwar Baripal claimed the Taliban had been defeated both on the battleground and the negotiating table.

Addressing a gathering in Gizab district of central Urozgan province, Baripal said the Taliban had been defeated not only on the battleground but also on the negotiating table.

Anwar claimed the Taliban were escaping negotiations, they lacked the ability to negotiate.

“The Afghan government is committed to peace. If the Taliban want peace or war, the Afghan government is ready for both,” he claimed.

Mohammad Shoaib Pilot, vice chief of army staff at the Ministry of Defense (MoD), in the gathering said, security forces were committed to fighting and clearing Tirinkot and other districts of Uruzgan province from the Taliban’s presence.

Umar Shirzad, the Uruzgan governor, reassured the Gizab residents of humanitarian aid. “People have lost their assets and public services because of war,” he said.

The governor urged people to allow their children to join Afghan security and defense forces.

Abdullah, a tribal elder, claimed that Taliban had destroyed their hospital, school, a water supply system and burned down bazaar of the Gizab district.

“We need urgent aid in all aspects, the government and donor agencies must immediately send aid,” he said.

Security forces last week recaptured Gizab district but most areas are still littered with landmines.