Sunday, January 19, 2020

Taliban and the US finally agreed on troops withdrawal plan

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Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]

The Taliban and the US have reportedly sat fit for US forces withdrawal plan for Afghanistan. According to it, in the next five months about 5,000 American soldiers will be withdrawn from Afghanistan, as reported by the Afghan TV Tolo News on Tuesday. In return, the Taliban should reduce its attacks and offer no protection to terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda. US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the agreement was “in principle”, but US President Donald Trump still had to agree.

The agreement gives US President Trump the opportunity to sell the withdrawal of American troops in the 2020 election campaign as a success

Khalilzad had previously briefed the Afghan government, which was barred from the negotiations, about the details of the agreement. Shortly after the agreement was announced, the Taliban in Kabul attacked a residential complex of foreigners. The explosion of a car bomb killed at least 16 people and injured more than 110 others. The police evacuated about 400 foreigners from the complex.

In the next five months about 5,000 American soldiers will be withdrawn from Afghanistan

In recent weeks, the number of attacks had increased sharply. At the weekend, the Taliban attacked Kunduz and Puli Khumri, two major cities in the north of the country, and temporarily occupied important buildings. The Taliban now controlled about half of the country.

The agreement with the Taliban now gives US President Trump the opportunity to sell the withdrawal of American troops in the 2020 election campaign as a success. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, there is a growing concern that the agreement hastily found before the Afghan presidential election offers a little security for the population. Many fear that the insurgents, whose regime was overthrown in 2001, will come back to power this way. The Taliban have refused to involve the government in Kabul in the negotiations.

“The United States and the Taliban held a total of nine rounds of negotiations in Qatar to resolve the 18-year-old conflict in Afghanistan”

Another skepticism is that the United States has not made the draft treaty public. Sedik Seddiki, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said the president had seen the treaty and had “explained to him important details”. However, the agreement could only be a real success if the Taliban entered into negotiations with the Afghan government and there was a ceasefire, the spokesman said.

The Taliban now controlled about half of the country

The United States and the Taliban held a total of nine rounds of negotiations in Qatar to resolve the 18-year-old conflict in Afghanistan. Although the official NATO combat mission ended in December 2014, more than 20,000 US and NATO troops are still stationed in war torn Afghanistan to train, assist and also carry out anti-terrorist operations with the Afghan army. Last year, 3,812 civilians died as a result of hostilities – more than a third of the victims were children.

Read also: Taliban launches large-scale attack on Kunduz

Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]

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