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Be merciless against the enemy: defense minister tells troops

KABUL: Asadullah Khaled, the newly appointed defense caretaker minister said that army would increase offensive operations, calling on the soldiers to “cruelly act against the enemies of Afghanistan”.

Khaled, an intelligence director under ex-president Hamid Karzai and a critic of President Ashraf Ghani, was appointed by Ghani last week as defense caretaker minister to replace Tareq Shah Bahrami.

Khaled who started work Saturday in defense ministry, told the ministry’s personnel that doing better job and serving for Afghanistan was important for him and he would not spare any efforts in this regard.

He added that peace was important for him and every Afghan, but warned those who would not accept the process, would be suppressed.

“We have to change our defense position in which we are now, and we need to attack enemy’s hideouts and take over initiative. A proverb in Pashto (One of two official languages) says that crooked mouth gets OK with an iron punch, so this iron punch will be the national army, police and intelligence’s,” Khaled said.

He emphasized on reforms in army, saying national unity was important, but meritocracy should be more important and the name of tribes and ethnicities should not be misused.

Khaled assured that army would be more supported and armed in the front lines of war and the wounded soldiers would be quickly handled.

His predecessor, Tareq Shah Bahrami in a speech praised army’s performance and sacrifices in war against terrorism.

Meanwhile, national security adviser, Hamdollah Moheb said that good job and management were important for government, not political differences.

“Terrorists and other armed opposition groups who are supported from different sides, cannot challenge Afghans’ intention who defend their honors and homeland with high morale. There is a clear definition of enemy for us, everyone who tries to sabotage the system is our enemy and we stand against enemy,” said Moheb.

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