Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed Monday the U.S.’s quick withdrawal from the country for the worsening security situation and resurgent Taliban offensive.
Ghani blamed the deepening security crisis on the U.S. “abruptly” deciding to pull troops out of the country in an address to a joint session of the Parliament, also known as the National Assembly, Monday.
“The reason for our current situation is that the decision was taken abruptly,” he said adding that the US and NATO pull out will have “consequences,” according to AlJazeera. “We have had an unexpected situation in the last three months.” (RELATED: Pentagon Admits Taliban Advances In Afghanistan Are ‘Concerning’)
Today I addressed a joint session of the Wolesi and Meshrano Jirga. Our people yearn for peace and while we will pursue a negotiated path, we also stand forcefully against the Taliban’s aggression. I thank the National Assembly for their unanimous declaration in support of ANDSF. pic.twitter.com/qOEHX1q7rx
— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) August 2, 2021
The president was presenting a new security plan to lawmakers promising it will bring the “situation under control” in the next six months, according to Fox News. “The Taliban do not believe in lasting or just peace,” Ghani also said.
He also criticized an “imported, hasty” peace process, referring to a US-backed effort to negotiate peace between the Afghan national government and the Taliban Islamic militants, The Associated Press reported.
Taliban responded to Ghani’s speech in a statement. “Speech by Ashraf Ghani is nonsense, an attempt to control his fears and dire situation. Nation has decided to pursue and bring national traitors to justice. Declarations of war, accusations & lies cannot prolong Ghani’s life, his time has run-out, God willing,” Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, said on Twitter.
The militants have been gaining ground in recent months. Last month, the group claimed it controlled roughly 85% of the country, according to Reuters. Afghan government officials rejected that assertion saying it is a “propaganda campaign.”
Taliban previously ruled Afghanistan before it was toppled by the United States and NATO countries following the September 11 attacks.
President Joe Biden announced that after 20 years of military involvement in Afghanistan will “conclude on August 31,” ahead of the previous schedule. “The Afghan government and leadership has to come together. They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place,” he said at the time.
The U.S. has already vacated from the Bagram Air Base in Kabul, which served as its main military base in the country and center of its operations in the Middle East. The US and other NATO allies have also been evacuating Afghan citizens who have been co-operating and working with their troops.