In an address to the nation on Tuesday night, President Ashraf Ghani praised the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) for their sacrifices in defending the country and said they are the main pillars of stability and security in the country.
"I thank each and every member of the security forces for defending the country. They [Afghan security forces] are the main pillars of stability and security in Afghanistan," he said.According to Ghani, the country's security forces are more powerful now than they were 14 years ago. He said the security forces are united and they respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and are committed to defending the country.He said that when visiting provinces, residents always called on him to increase the number of troops in their areas so as to ensure their security.Referring to Kunduz, he said the nation witnessed what insurgents could do in a short time, but said that people feel safe with security forces.He also said that Kunduz is now secure and more than 9,000 families who fled have since returned to the city. He said the rest will return soon.He urged all elders, political leaders and influential figures as well as the media to support Afghan security forces."I believe security force members should be inclusive of all Afghans and should represent every area of the country," Ghani added.He said training of security forces can bring us closer to our goals and that he is proud of the Afghan women who serve in the forces.Ghani also said the country started from zero and Afghanistan pulled itself up out of the ashes – that there was nothing 15 years ago.Referring to the international community's continued support, Ghani said Afghanistan is not the only country that needs international support but that in getting it "we should use the opportunities constructively"."Continued support of the international community has created an opportunity for us, therefore we should use it to stand on our own," he said.Referring to US President Barack Obama's decision on troop levels, Ghani stated that Obama's decision was a historical move as it shows he trusts Afghanistan and its people.He said the war in Afghanistan is an imposed war. "Stability in Afghanistan means stability in the region. Afghanistan will never sacrifice its freedom," he added.On the issue of peace talks, Ghani stated that the government believes that war is not the solution. "As usual we call on all insurgents to lay down their arms and join the peace process," he reiterated.He added: "We believe in peace and negotiations but we will not let any rebels under the name of Taliban or Daesh or others kill our people or destroy roads and bridges."In conclusion, Ghani said Afghanistan should be patient and Afghans should accept each other in order to move forward towards a brighter future.