President Ashraf Ghani, who visited the western province of Nimroz on Sunday, said the Afghan government will not enter negotiations with the Taliban from a position of weakness, and that the republic and the national security and defense forces will not be compromised in the talks.
“I will not compromise on the republic. I will not compromise on Afghanistan. We are proud of the republic,” Ghani said.
The Afghan peace process has reached a critical point as the intra-Afghan negotiations are expected to begin in the near future if the prisoner exchange between the government and the Taliban is completed.
The US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad also started a five-nation trip on July 24. In Kabul and Doha, Khalilzad will press for resolution of the remaining issues ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, specifically final prisoner exchanges and reduced violence, according to a statement by the US Department of State.
The president meanwhile vowed that work on Kamal Khan dam will be completed within the next four months.
According to engineers, the dam will irrigate thousands of hectares of land and will generate nine megawatts of power.
Nimroz residents said the president has not fulfilled the commitments he made in his previous trip to the province.
“Our 100-bed hospital has been left unconstructed for the last five years. It has been taken by the OSOPND (Operations and Support Office of the President for National Development) but it has not been started yet,” said Baz Mohammad Nasir, head of Nimroz Provincial Council.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who accompanied Ghani on the trip, said the Taliban has had no achievement despite increased violence in the country.
“They (Taliban) made lots of efforts this year, particularly after the Doha agreement, they thought that they will have achievements after the withdrawal of Americans. At some points, they have conducted up to 100 attacks in a week, but they did not have progress,” said Saleh.