Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday rejected the resignations of the intelligence chief and the interior and defence ministers.
Ghani called on Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami, Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai to continue their duties demanding they help bolster the country’s defences.
Yesterday, Ghani’s powerful national security adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar had resigned, in a blow to the embattled unity government before parliamentary elections scheduled for October.
The Government is under tremendous pressure as the Taliban have intensified their assaults on police and troops across the country and the Islamic State group has targeted the capital Kabul.
This month has seen an extraordinarily violent series of incidents, including an attack that saw the Taliban storm the provincial capital of Ghazni — just a 2-hour drive from Kabul.
Large parts of Ghazni was held by Taliban for days and Afghan forces needed US air power to push them back, resulting in widespread destruction and estimates of deaths.
The resignation letters came one week after Ghani offered a conditional 3-month ceasefire to the Taliban, a move welcomed by the US and NATO after nearly 17 years of war The Taliban have yet to officially respond to the offer.
A brief ceasefire in June had sparked hopes that a path for talks with the insurgents was opening.