Addressing a press conference, Mohib said although the group is preparing for “war” come spring, the group’s level of violence increased dramatically this winter compared to attacks in the past.
This comes despite peace talks having started between the Afghan Republic and the Taliban in September. However, the talks appear to have stalled this year after the Taliban failed to return to the talks tables following a December break.
Mohib meanwhile also implied that Pakistan was not supporting the Afghan government in its quest for peace. “Taliban made their preparations and asked their commanders at their home in Quetta to prepare themselves for war; this shows that Pakistan is not helping [to establish] peace,” said Mohib.
Mohib also stated that government will not release any more Taliban prisoners at this stage. “Violence increased 100 percent. We have not seen any advantage by releasing the [5,500] Taliban prisoners [last year]. We just saw that Afghan killings have increased, violence increased,” said Mohib.
Meanwhile, the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and deputy defense minister said that Afghan forces are ready for war. “The Taliban is escaping from peace talks; our team is ready and waiting for them,” said Ahmad Zia Saraj, head of the NDS.
“Wherever the Taliban gathers and plan [attacks] we will launch operations,” said Shah Mahmood Miakhel, deputy minister of defense. On other hand, the Taliban urged Washington to stick to the US-Taliban deal, adding that it is the only way to end the war in Afghanistan. The group also called for the release of Taliban prisoners.