News - Afghanistan
Officials from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Friday celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr by visiting Afghan soldiers fighting on the front lines in Paktia and Paktika provinces.
The NDS officials paid homage to the sacrifices made by the security forces and stressed that their commitment and determination is what forced the Taliban to endorse the peace process.
"The people of Afghanistan are indebted for services of the brave men of this land," NDS Provincial Affairs Department Chair Mateen Baig told soldiers in Urgun district of Paktika. "It is just because of your efforts that today the armed opponents are showing a willingness to come to the peace negotiation table and endorse the constitution and our three colored flag," he added.
The NDS officials said the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network and Pakistani military are all attempting to destabilize parts of Paktika province, which borders Pakistan. Those claims were added to by Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the commander of the Army's 203 Thunder Corps, who said there is evidence that the Pakistani military is supporting militants in the Samkanai district of Paktia.
"With the help of Allah, you [the Afghan forces] succeeded in defeat 600 Pakistani militia forces who cast an evil eye toward our country and many of them were killed and wounded," Yaftali said on Friday.
Meanwhile, other army officers cast doubt on the authenticity of the Taliban's motives in starting peace negotiations with the government. "By endorsing the peace negotiation talks the enemies are trying to score points with the government and are conducting attacks. But we have given the necessary response to their attacks," said Abdul Qadir Rostayee, commander of the 3rd Battolion of the Army's 203 Thunder Corps.
Despite the security threats, average citizens accompanied the security officials to pay respect to the soldiers fighting on the front lines.
"They [the security forces] should be appreciated. It is because of their services that we can live in peace in the cities and inside our homes," Afghan writer Tamim Asi said.
"They are the protectors of our country, so we are here to see them and invite others as well to come and visit their soldiers," civil society activist Shafi Sharifi said.