Peace with Taliban not to end threats of global terrorism: Mohib

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KABUL: Addressing United Nation Security Council (UNSC) Meeting today at U.N. headquarter in New York, Afghanistan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib said UN had a supportive role to play in working with the Afghan government and people to bring peace.

“First of all, Afghanistan has undergone an era of social transformation — 75% of our population are under the age of 35, have grown up in a democracy, and have a different set of expectations and principles than their parents and grandparents’ generations,” Mohib said, adding that the Afghan generation born in war, and grew up in conflict or exile and they yearn for peace, and wish for peace. “we have built over the past 18 years – not reverse it. We must safeguard our future.”

Mohib went on to say that millions of Afghans have benefited from the best of national and international education opportunities, and members of this generation were now in positions of leadership and senior management.

“We have also experienced the transformation of our female citizens from victims of institutionalized discrimination under the Taliban regime, to active, empowered, engaged contributors to all spheres of society and politics,” Mohib noted.

Hinting to Afghan National Unity Government’s efforts for peace, Afghan NSA said, their hard works paid off in the last five years, and they are now at the doorstep of peace. “The country, and indeed the world, are abuzz with both the excitement of its possibility, and the concerns and uncertainties that surround it.”

“After President Ghani’s unconditional peace talks offer in February 2018, followed by the ceasefire in June 2018 and the announcement of an Afghan negotiating team and peace roadmap in November 2018, we have been working to build consensus across the country over the past few months. In December, the government hosted a Jirga with 2,500 youth from 34 provinces. In February, the country’s first women’s gathering was held in the Loya Jirga tent, where 3,500 women gathered themselves from all provinces to reach a consensus on what they expect from the peace process,” he said.

According to him, the Afghan government will convene a consultative Loya Jirga this spring, which will further bond the collective voice of the Afghan people. “This will be followed by the 3rd Kabul Process Conference, where we will be looking practically at implementing a post-peace plan.”

In his UN speech, Mohib said Afghan people and their international partners have made enormous sacrifices to build their democracy and the Afghan people were counting on elections. “I would like to emphasize that we welcome international monitors in every phase of the elections this year. “

According to Mohib; the ANDSF defied predictions of collapse and failure when they took over in 2014, protecting not only Afghanistan’s sovereignty but also safeguarding the world from the threat of global terror. “After the implementation of new policies and strategies, we have seen improved operational output on the battlefield and a substantial increase in offensive operations. Our security forces have not only held ground, but solidified control of territories, and weakened pockets of enemy contingents, including Daesh elements in the eastern and northern parts of the country.”

Mohib told the UNSC representatives that peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan will not mean an end to the threat of global terrorism. “Afghan forces will remain defiant in the face of terrorism, but this responsibility does not belong solely to Afghans—it is a long-term global threat, which requires a sustained global response.”

At the UN, Mohib went on to say “Afghanistan will continue to pursue a sequential, thoughtful peace process which leads to dialogue between the Afghan government and people, and the Taliban. We will continue to pursue military and counter-terrorism objectives, and we remain absolutely committed to holding presidential elections this year.” 

Concluding his speech, Mohib reiterated Afghanistan’s gratitude for the role UNSC has played in galvanizing international partnership for Afghanistan, dating back to 2001, when they opened a new chapter in Afghanistan’s modern history. “Over the years, this Council has been consistent in its support, helping us to progress towards self-reliance and peace.”

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