Concerns grow over Afghan Military ability to defend Kabul from Taliban after US troops withdrawal

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Concerns grow over Afghan Military ability to defend Kabul from Taliban after US troops withdrawal

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that Pakistan will not support the return of the Afghan Taliban to power after the US troop’s withdrawal.

Concerns are growing about the Afghan military’s ability to defend the capital and other areas under its control without the support of the international troops. Over the last few days, the Taliban have overrun a major military base and also captured a strategic district close to Kabul.

Ghani’s statement came days after Pakistan’s army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visit to Kabul. “Pakistan’s army, in utter clarity, announced that the revival of Islamic Emirate is not in Pakistan’s national interest,” Ghani said.

“Afghanistan’s peace and stability means peace and stability in the region,” he said, adding General Bajwa committed his support for “the republic” — which is the current government in Kabul. Pakistan and Afghanistan’s relationship remained tense as the former has been accused of supporting the Taliban.

However, Pakistan has played a credible role in the ongoing Afghan peace process. The ongoing rapprochement between Pakistan and Afghanistan is the result of Pakistan’s contributions to the peace process. “Pakistan is also not keen on seeing an extremist ideology taking root in Afghanistan. It represents a risk for the generals and Pakistan’s democracy as well,” Toreq Farhadi, a former adviser to the Afghan government, told Arab News. “Pakistan wants a political settlement in Afghanistan where Taliban can be part of the governing structure and opposes a total takeover of power by the Taliban.”