KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday that the country’s security situation will improve in the next six months in line with a new security plan, urging the Taliban to choose “political settlement over war.”

Ghani made these remarks while addressing a gathering in the capital Kabul to mark the National Flag Day.

President Ghani said an action plan is ready and that people will soon see a change in the security situation. He asserted that an array of Afghan and international scholars have labeled the Taliban’s current fight as illegitimate in light of Islamic teachings.

“If the group of the Taliban believes in the sword (force), our defense and security forces will respond to this group befittingly with the sword,” Ghani said while reiterating that the voice of the Afghan government is the voice of peace, and all Afghans have reached a consensus on a peaceful solution to the conflict.

According to him, the government’s intention is to preserve values, bring lasting peace and establish order in the country. Ghani assured the people that the government’s action plan is ready, and the situation will improve in three to six months.

The Taliban, for their part, issued a stern warning against recent US airstrikes and threatened retaliation last Friday, a day after the Pentagon confirmed that the extremists were targeted weeks before the complete withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Taliban on their social media platforms made a strong statement condemning the strikes, calling them “barbaric.”

The Taliban last week also expressed concern about President Ghani’s remarks on restoring peace and order in the next six months.

“The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) also warns that in the next six months, the responsibility for any military transformation will fall to the leaders of the Kabul administration (Afghan government), the ‘Mujahideen’ of the Islamic Emirate will strongly defend their territories and the war by the enemy will continue. In that case, the Islamic Emirate will not remain on the defensive,” they had said in a statement.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.