Afghan President Ashraf Ghani views peace talks with the Taliban as dead, and is looking to both arm civilians and cooperate with warlords to prevent the militant group from overrunning his administration in Kabul.
Quoting sources, an international news agency Bloomberg in a report said Ghani has been feeling increasingly isolated as the Taliban gain diplomatic support from key countries such as Pakistan, China, and Russia.
The sources added that Ghani’s only solution is to unite and rally groups opposed to the Taliban “in an imminent civil war”.
Presidential spokesperson Mohammad Amiri has claimed that the government remains open for talks while the Taliban are back away from negotiations, the report said.
Ghani, according to Amiri, has decided to “mobilize and arm” people to fight the insurgent group after a meeting with top warlords and political leaders.
“Unfortunately, the Taliban don’t believe in peace talks,” the report quoted Amiri as having said. “They are trying to grab power by force and such acts are not acceptable to the people and government of Afghanistan,” he added.
The last round of peace talks took place in Doha, Qatar, on July 17, with both sides agreeing to continue talks. “We want peace, but they want our surrender,” he maintained, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the US said it was up to Afghan armed forces to defend the country after Taliban militants captured a sixth provincial capital on Monday, along with border towns and trade routes.
The report quoting President Joe Biden said the US military mission in Afghanistan will end on August 31, arguing that the Afghan people must decide their own future and that he would not consign another generation of Americans to the 20-year war.
On Monday, the US State Department said: US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Qatar where he will “press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement.”
In talks over three days, representatives from governments and multilateral organizations will press for “a reduction of violence and ceasefire and a commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force,” the State Department added.