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Presidential citadel reacts to Taliban “Spring Offensive”; stresses Afghan forces spirits unbroken 

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2016)

TALIBAN_12 - 04 - 2016 - DARI - SOT.mpg_snapshot_00.44_[2016.04.12_18.42.55]

Afghanistan presidential palace in reaction to the announced statement by the Taliban to launch spring offensive said the Taliban’s “Omari” operation is not more than a propaganda and ineffective effort.

The Taliban declared the start of their fighting season on Tuesday, vowing to take control of more territory and launch large-scale attacks against the Afghan government and its foreign allies, including the U.S.

In an email to media, the militants said the spring offensive had begun at 5 a.m. They dubbed the campaign “Operation Omari” in honor of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, who died three years ago.

“Jihad against the aggressive and usurping infidel army is a holy obligation upon our necks and our only recourse for re-establishing an Islamic system and regaining our independence,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The presidential Palace in reaction to the statement said Afghan security forces were prepared to respond to any kind of attack.

“The initiative on the battlefield is in hands of Afghan forces. The Afghan “Shafaq” operation has dealt a heavy blow to the Taliban,” Dawa Khan Mina Pal, President’s deputy spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry emphasizes that Taliban are weak against Afghan forces and the experience of Kunduz fall would not be repeated in the future.

“We had a fierce battle last year and we are trying to do not repeat the experience of Kunduz fall again,” Muhammad Radmanesh, deputy spokesman of defense ministry said.

In the meantime, a number of Afghan senators declared that the National Unity Government (NUG) must take serious measures against Taliban’s spring offensive.

The senators stressed to not compassionate to those who target the Afghan people.

They noted that the regional countries seek to rise insecurity in Afghanistan and the government should prevent such machinations.

“The government should take serious measures against the armed Taliban group started a spring offensive and mobilize security institutions to prevent their activities,” senator Jomaddin Geyanwal said.

“The security forces should have no mercy to those who do not want peace and use any option for their elimination,” senator Muhammad Asef Sidiqi said.

The High Peace Council (HPC) is also awaiting for Pakistan’s integrity in brining Taliban to the negotiation table.

“This is important that Pakistan’s honesty is still not clear as previously, the quartet meeting held between US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan for peace,” Khaibar Ochqun, deputy of HPC said.

In line with recent statements, the militants also said they would establish good governance in areas they controlled and avoid civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure.

The seasons have long shaped violence in Afghanistan with fighting easing off in the winter, when mountain passes get snowed in, and picking up again in the spring and summer.

Fighting between the Afghan government and the Taliban is now in its 15th year, and the violence shows no sign of abating.

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