Join peace process or face action, Atmar tells rebels

Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammad Hanif Atmar

KABUL: The national security advisor on Tuesday warned militants of stringent military action if they refused to join the government-initiated reconciliation process.

Mohammad Hanif Atmar, in a Nawroz message, called 2016 a year full of problems and suffering for the Afghans. However, he said, they were able to come out of the security concerns.

“The nation has successfully proved to the enemy that it doesn’t buckle under pressure. It gave the foes a tit-for-tat response, showing a high degree of courage and determination,” he said.

Atmar commended the security forces for defending every inch of Afghanistan’s territory in 2016 when they demonstrated a strong sense of patriotism in defeating terrorists.

Last year, the advisor recalled, the government signed a peace pact with the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar. Steps had been taken to implement the deal, he claimed.

He said effective measures had been taken to strengthen the security forces under a four-year plan. International support had increased for the local forces, which had been able to improve coordination, Atmar said.

He hoped the insurgents would renounce violence and join the intra-Afghan peace drive. If they ignored the peace overture, the fighters would face decisive action from the security agencies, he concluded.-Pajhwok

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