Former head of Taliban’s Qatar office, Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, has rejected reports of having said that the Afghan army would be dissolved once US forces withdraw from the country.
He also said that in the event of US withdrawing, they were to leave all military hardware behind.
In a written message to TOLOnews, Stanikzai said “some parts of my interview with the Nunn Taki Asia wrongly rationalized”. He said he did not mean the army would be dissolved but he “meant that this army was created when the foreigners came”.
“At that time, they were mandated to fight the Taliban instead of defending the honor of the nation and the borders.”
“Since the withdrawal of the foreign troops is concerned and the occupation comes to an end, then their mandate to fight that Taliban will also end.
“There won’t be any need to fight the Taliban,” Stanikzai said.
“You better know, we mentioned repeatedly that while withdrawing your troops, you’ve to leave all military equipments/tools as we’re looking forward to have a well-equipped army in the future,” he stated.
He said in light of this there were no plans to dissolve the army and that his comments early this week had been “misinterpreted”. In conclusion he said an inclusive Afghan system would include a reformed army.
Earlier, Stanikzai said that despite disagreements over women’s rights and demands for an Islamic constitution in Afghanistan, the peace talks in Moscow were ‘very successful’.
However, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani has said the Afghan politicians attending the Moscow Talks have no executive authorities and are not officially representing Afghanistan.