Take a look at some of the top stories and editorials in Afghan media related to Operation Moshtarak in Marjah. Excerpts are compiled from a U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan report.
Weesa Daily (private media editorial): The United States and United Kingdom want to establish their military bases in Helmand, Nimroz, Herat and some other important places in Afghanistan so that they can have control of Helmand with its rich petroleum resources. They also want to control Guada Port in Pakistan and Bandar-e Abbas in Iran. (Guadar is a port that links Pakistan to China). The offensive launched in the name of Marjah is nothing but hiding their intensions about oil wells in Helmand and the strategic importance of the ports mentioned. Therefore, both the public as well as the authorities ought to pay attention to the sensitivity of the issue.
Hasht-e-Subh Daily (private media editorial): The Taliban will not attend the peace talks unless they feel they are weak, whereas the ongoing military operations in Marja will probably not deal such a serious blow to the Taliban to make it attend peace talks.
Outlook Afghanistan (private media editorial): Taliban militants, both Pakistani and Afghan, will show resilience if they are not squeezed from the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Ariana TV: Military authorities in Helmand say roadside mines and the use of human shields by Taliban has slowed the pace of operations. Afghan's Ministry of Defence says security forces will, by tomorrow, liberate all the areas under Taliban domination in Marjah.
Outlook Afghanistan newspaper: Karzai warns against civilian casualties in Marjah. Meanwhile, Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal has accused the Taliban of intending to use civilians as human shields by not allowing them to leave their houses. The Afghanistan Council of Clerics wants Karzai to invite representatives of the Taliban to the upcoming Peace Jirga in Kabul.
Outlook Afghanistan newspaper: Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar called Thursday on Taliban militants to give up militancy and join the peace process in the country. Meanwhile, Zalmay Khalilzad - the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the U.N. - said he's not confident of the success of the reconciliation approach with the Taliban that the Karzai government is proposing.
Weesa Daily (private media editorial): If the Afghan government doesn't make sure Marjah civilians are safe during the operations, the government will be held responsible and the ongoing reconciliation process will be damaged.
Kabul Times (state media editorial): The ongoing military operations in the Marjah district of Helmand will destroy and affect poppy cultivation in the country
Rah-e-Nejat Daily (private media editorial): The Afghan government needs to regulate the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan or it will just create more problems in the future.
Mandegar Daily (private media editorial): The operation in Marjah will not help in the ongoing reintegration and reconciliation process in the country.