Kabul bombing: Afghanistan and the West ′share a common threat′ | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 22.03.2018
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Kabul bombing: Afghanistan and the West 'share a common threat'

After a suicide bomber killed more than 30 people celebrating the Persian New Year near a shrine in Kabul, DW spoke to Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar about the country’s strategy to fight extremism.

DW: The Persian New Year turned deadly after an attack in Kabul. If attacks like these were expected to happen, why didn't your government prevent it from happening?

Hatif Atmar: First of all, I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is the most heinous act of terror against civilian people who were celebrating the New Year. It was the most cruel thing to do to people who were celebrating.

Now, there have been many such attacks planned against our people. Most of them have been prevented. Unfortunately, this one, which was carried out by a suicide bomber, fell through the cracks.

Read more: Kabul suicide bombing: Heavy casualties in New Year's blast

Daesh (the Arabic acronym for "Islamic State") has claimed responsibility for the blast. Your government has offered peace to the Taliban. What is the government doing to prevent extremism from growing further?

Hanif Atmar (picture alliance/AP Photo/R. Gul)

Hanif Atmar is the national security advisor to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

We have launched two series of strategies. The peace and reconciliation strategy to extend the offer of peace to the Taliban…

Read more: Why is 'Islamic State' targeting Shiites in Afghanistan?

Which they have rejected…

Not yet. Officially, they have not yet taken a position – but we are hoping that there will be sound judgement that there will be a decision by their leadership in favor of their country. 

At the same time, we have also launched a new phase of a our counter-terrorism strategy, which is mutually reinforcing the peace and reconciliation strategy. This has the exact aim that those who intend to harm our people must be stopped and must be defeated.

Read more:

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Now Germany will most likely deploy more soldiers in Afghanistan. How will this change the situation inside the country?

We have a common threat which is not just against Afghanistan; it is against Afghanistan, the region, Germany, Europe, the United States and by extension the global community. That should be the starting point, that the threats we face in Afghanistan and around Afghanistan are common threats. Defeating those common threats require a common strategy, a common mission.

For this mission, NATO, the United States and Afghanistan are [working] together. Afghanistan has assumed entirely the combat role and Germany, NATO and the rest of our partners have assumed a support role to provide training, advice and support for the Afghan forces as part of their mission.

So the role of Germany with its soldiers is one of the most effective roles in strengthening the Afghan forces to protect, not only Afghanistan, but the region, and by extension the world community against terrorism.

Read moreAfghan President Ashraf Ghani offers Taliban peace talks and political recognition

This interview was conducted by Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi.

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