President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday identified lasting peace in Afghanistan as his administration’s top priority.
However, the president firmly ruled out compromise on the achievements of the past 13 years, or Afghanistan’s core values.
He expressed the views while addressing a passing-out ceremony for the 7th batch of army officers at the Marshal Fahim Academy in Kabul.
“Today, you are going to join the heroes who have rendered a lot of sacrifices for their country … particularly over the past 13 years,” he told the graduates. .
Ghani said the Afghans were defending their 5,000-year-old legacy and that the conflict had been imposed on them. He stressed Afghanistan’s stability was deeply rooted in unity.
“Keep in mind that you will rise in your career on the basis of commitment and patriotism … We are duty-bound to defend every inch of our motherland and protect our people.”
He went on to warn: “No one should try to wage a proxy war in Afghanistan. Whoever believes that Afghanistan is a pushover should rethink their theory, because it can’t be subdued by anyone.”
The president agreed that the fair use of force was necessary to defend the country, but warned that illegitimate resort to force caused civilian casualties and violated people’s rights.
He slammed the kidnapping of over 30 passengers in Zabul a conspiracy against national unity, saying that Afghan Special Forces had killed nearly 70 militants in subsequent search operations in the area.
“There is consensus in our society on strengthening peace and stability in Afghanistan, but we want a reconciliation process that preserves our gains and values,” the president maintained, ruling out any compromise in this regard.