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Afghan press weighs offensive one week on

US Marines with NATO forces
Some commentators worry talks with the Taliban will be harmed

Afghan newspapers have been looking at the week-old, major offensive against the Taliban from several angles, some expressing support and others suspicion.

Operation Moshtarak, involving thousands of Afghan and Nato troops in the southern province of Helmand, has prompted concern for civilian casualties among some commentators, as well as worry that the possibility of talks with the Taliban might be harmed.

EDITORIAL IN KABUL WEEKLY

Operation Moshtarak should be supported by all Afghans who are interested in living in a peaceful and a Taliban-free country... We need to consider this operation as the beginning of the end for the Taliban… The battle for Marjah and other districts in Helmand Province needs to be ours and these areas should be cleared of the Taliban and our troops should not be deterred by wishy-washy politicians.

EDITORIAL in ANIS

The opposition (Taliban) still use residential areas as a defensive shield. Reports suggests that 12 civilians were killed in the operations. Nato and Afghan forces must take care.

Killing civilians will strengthen the opposition.

EDITORIAL in HASHT-E SOBH

The main question is about the effects and consequences of this war...The Afghan government and the foreign troops are responsible for preserving the lives of people not engaged in the war, even under the worst conditions, and even though it is difficult to distinguish a Taliban fighter from a civilian.

EDITORIAL in ARMAN-E MELLI

So far [the joint forces] have only been able to kill less than 50 Taliban fighters… this is very humiliating and shameful for the international forces.

EDITORIAL in MANDEGAR

The big offensive against the Taliban in Helmand Province has not been launched to defeat the Taliban, but to make them retreat and relocate… Such a tactic can neither prepare the ground for negotiations nor for struggle.

EDITORIAL in WEESA

[The government and Nato] try to show that the operation is very important to find pretexts to bring and deploy a large number of troops there. There are huge resources of oil in Helmand, Nimroz and Herat provinces that can meet the western requirements for decades.

EDITORIAL in ANIS

Courage, vigilance and sacrifices by the security forces, play a positive role, but it is the people's support that can strengthen the government's legitimacy and build a wall between the opposition and the people.

EDITORIAL in DAILY AFGHANISTAN

The Taliban has usually staged guerrilla attacks, planted mines and committed suicide bombings instead of waging face-to-face war… Therefore, people won't value the achievements of the current operation (seizing Marjah District from the Taliban) until they observe practical changes… The government must install administrative and judicial officials in this district and expand the government's control there.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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