KABUL: As ratcheted-up efforts to start peace talks coalesce with rising hostilities, Afghanistan army says Taliban have been defeated in the battleground.
The Afghan government and Taliban insurgents are claiming upper hand in the fighting, with intra-Afghan talks looming and violence rising in epic scale.
The army is repetitively haranguing about heavy losses to the Taliban in the war. The Defense Ministry says Taliban attacks are being defended against as the army stands in defensive mode. Such remarks have precedent, though. As both warring sides prepare for peace talks, what is the reason behind a stratospheric surge in violence?
The Defense Ministry spokesman, Fawad Aman, pins that anomaly to Taliban’s mission for leverage, “in which they have failed.”
“Taliban have struggled to seize control of more territory on the anvil of peace talks. But they have been unable to do so. Because Afghan defense and security forces are in a better position in every aspect,” he said.
Airstrikes in Laghman provinces killed at least 62 Taliban insurgents on Monday, a death toll that corroborates to government statement about militants losing ground.
On the opposite side, Taliban are also flaunting their prowess and gains in the battlefield with consecutive attacks on Afghan forces. Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid recently said in a tweet that small groups of Afghan soldiers are defecting to the Taliban.
Some pundits believe the Afghan conundrum cannot be resolved militarily. “Military power won’t present any solution. And there now is an emphasis among all stakeholders on political solution to the Afghan war,” said Shafiq Amin, a Kabul University lecturer.
As war escalates, Kabul government is contemplating setting ceasefire as top agenda for peace talks with the Taliban, who say a truce won’t be possible before talks.