(One TV): “If the Taliban had support, why would they be so afraid of elections,” Ghani said addressing a panel at Munich Security Conference in Germany. “Well I challenge them, put your best candidates in Helmand and see whether you win, come to Paktia, come to Kandahar, come to any city in the north and particularly run for the office in Kabul, if people elect you dogcatcher, then I will say you really have a power base.” “Guns are not the base of power.” The United States and the Taliban are close to inking a peace deal which is expected following a seven-day reduction of violence. Ghani said that Afghanistan is on the ‘same page’ with US on peace efforts. “Together, we see opportunity, there are risks but our business is to delineate risks in order to overcome them,” Ghani said. “You are not going to solve this issue on the basis of paper discussions, you take an existential step forward and test. Testing is going to reveal.” “We have mutual trust in each other that we can do this together. And because of this, we agreed not to make any announcement yesterday or today. We will be making an announcement within the coming week to 10 days in a coordinated and choreographed fashion to just demonstrate that trust and mutual confidence that exists between us,” Ghani said. The president also said that Afghanistan is ready for US troops to go down to 8,600, saying about 94 percent of the operations are carried out by Afghan forces, commando forces were doubled, air forces were tripled and coordination improved.