Afghanistan's President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has asked the Taliban group to join the peace talks process and reject war in a move to restore sustainable peace in the country.
President Ghani said the Taliban will "face damaging consequences" if it continues to choose "war over peace".
Speaking during a ceremony for the transfer of the UH-60 Black Hawks to the Afghan forces in Kandahar Airfield, President Ghani said "Taliban should forget the perceptions that they can defeat the Afghan security forces and the Taliban are still in a position where options lies with the group and the government extends the hand for peace."
This statement of President Ghani came after the provincial police chief of southern Kandahar province, General Abdul Raziq, confirmed that the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada visited southern Helmand province nearly ten days ago .
Raziq informed that the Taliban chief arrived to Musa Qala district where he summoned a meeting of his local commanders and leaders including members of the Quetta Council of the Taliban as well as some operatives of the Pakistani intelligence to discuss the ongoing situation.
The Kandahar police chief believes the main topic discussed during the meeting included the growing pressure, including increased airstrikes that have badly interrupted the operations of the group,the Khaama Press reported.
Afghan Taliban commander Akhundzada has reportedly ordered his militants to stop fighting against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) because the two share common goals. The two groups have been sworn enemies since 2015.
In the other parts of his speech, President Ghani said one of the other objectives of the four year development plan of the security forces is to create an environment where only the national defense and security forces have the authority to use weapons.
President Ghani said the efforts and coordination between the Afghan government institutions and the international allies of the country will take the country towards peace and stability.