The conflict in Afghanistan is escalating amid the ongoing withdrawal of US troops from the country, raising the prospect of a new rise of the Taliban.*
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has pledged to prevent further instability in his country in the face of the Taliban’s ongoing offensive.
“As your president, my focus is on preventing further instability, violence and displacement of my people”, he said during an address to the nation on Saturday, stressing that under the current situation, remobilising the Afghan security and defence forces remains the government’s top priority.
The Afghan president expressed hope that the international community will “stand in support” of Kabul’s efforts to stop the violence.
Taliban Makes More Territorial Gains
The address comes as the Taliban announced the capture of Sharana, the capital of the southeastern Afghan province of Paktika, on Saturday. Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated that the building of the governor’s administration, the police headquarters, and other public buildings were now under the control of the Taliban.
On Friday, the militant group said that it had seized the capital of Logar province, Pol-e Alam, located some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Kabul.
This followed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging the militants to immediately end their offensive in Afghanistan and sit down for talks.
In a separate development on Friday, the White House…