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Afghanistan to have regular army soon: Taliban official

“We will not let a civil war erupt. Those disturbing security and stability will be trampled and those opposing the Taliban will be arrested,” Taliban army chief Qari Fasihuddin said.

IANS | Kabul |

Afghanistan would soon have a regular army to defend the country, Taliban’s army chief of staff Qari Fasihuddin has said. “Afghanistan would have a regular, disciplined and strong army in near future to defend and protect the country and consultations in this field continue,” Xinhua news agency quoted Fasihuddin as saying to the Afghan radio service Salam Watandar.

“We will not let a civil war erupt. Those disturbing security and stability will be trampled and those opposing the Taliban will be arrested,” Taliban army chief Qari Fasihuddin was quoted as saying.

Fasihuddin, in his address to a gathering in Kabul on Wednesday, said the members of the proposed army would be well-trained and disciplined to defend and protect Afghanistan, according to the radio service.

Even Taliban spokesman Ahmadullah Muttaqi confirmed in a tweet that Afghanistan will “soon have a well-organized army and force”.

The Taliban captured the capital Kabul on August 15 and announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7 to rule Afghanistan but without regular police and army.

A Tajik fighter originally from Badakhshan, Qari Fasihuddin, was given the charge as Taliban’s military commander to curb the resistance mounted by Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh in Panjshir.

Interestingly, the Ashraf Ghani administration had declared Qari Fasihuddin dead in 2019 as a result of an airstrike in Wardoj.

Known as one of the fiercest commanders within the Taliban, Qari Fasihuddin is also known as the “conqueror of the north” and was reportedly the ‘shadow governor’ of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan for some time. Fasihuddin took charge as the Taliban’s acting army chief on Tuesday.

Afghanistan had an army between 2002 and the Taliban takeover of the country on August 15 this year.

Formed in 2002, the Afghan National Army was, according to some reports, over 1.8 lakh-strong. The Afghan National Army was trained by the United States and other NATO member nations.

However, most members of the Afghan armed forces were forced to go into hiding, fearing retaliation following the Taliban takeover.

Many of the Afghan defense personnel even joined hands with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan in Panjshir.