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Dostum warns Taliban to surrender

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dustam on Tuesday warned Taliban to surrender and join reconciliation process otherwise be ready for dire consequences.
Addressing a gathering of Afghan security forces in the volatile Qaisar district of northwestern Faryab province, Dostum warned militants to shun violence in larger national interests. The area is infested with Taliban who often stage attacks on security forces and other state installations.
During his speech, Dostum rejected reports of creating his own militia to fight resurgent rebels.
Being the 1st vice president, he said that Afghan security forces were under his command and there was no need for creation of private militia.
He had been in Faryab following directives by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and National Security Council (NSC) to assess security situation on the ground and resolve problems.
He said situation in Faryab could further deteriorate if security forces did not stop Taliban attacks in the province. According to him, as many as 4,000 Taliban were planning to mount spectacular attacks in Faryab and capture the province.
He said he was aware about the death of Taliban’s supreme leader one year ago when most of the Taliban did not know their leader was dead.
He alleged Taliban continued fighting Afghan forces in the last two years following directives by others and they were kept unaware about the death of their leader.
About the Taliban new leader’s statement in which he stressed on intensifying the war, Dostum said he knew Mullah Akhtar Mansour well and wanted him and other Taliban to put down their weapons and end the decade long conflict in Afghanistan.
The government wanted Taliban to join the peace process; however, in the case of denial the groups would be defeated and perished by the valiant Afghan security forces.
Gen. Qadam Shah Shahim, chief of the armed forces, said as many as 300 militants, including Pakistani, Uzbek and Chechen, had been killed in clearing operation codenamed Shamsher in the past two weeks in the province.
He alleged foreign spy-networks for supporting terrorists in Afghanistan and said that militants were purged of several localities of Faryab with the help of uprising groups.
Over hundreds security men thanked 1st vice president for visiting Faryab to boost the morale of security forces.
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