|Home page World|
The Taliban have called on the US to end the use of force in Afghanistan instead of putting pressure on the militant group to lay down its arms.
Axar.az reports citing foreign media that, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made the remarks in response to US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, who is engaged in a sixth round of talks with the group in the Qatari capital Doha.
Khalilzad said in an opening session that this “is time to put down arms, stop the violence, & embrace peace."
“In our opening session, I underscored to the Talibs that the Afghan people, who are their brothers & sisters, want this war to end," Khalilzad wrote.
The Taliban spokesman reacted to the remarks on Friday, saying that Washington “should forget about the idea of us putting down our arms.”
“Instead of such fantasies, he should drive the idea home (to the US) about ending the use of force and incurring further human and financial losses for the decaying Kabul administration,” he added.
Mujahid said the United States must stop repeating failed strategies while expecting different outcomes.
"It would be better if @US4AfghanPeace musters the courage to call a spade a spade, not a gardening tool & accept the current realities."
After five rounds of talks, Khalilzad claimed progress in the talks last month, saying the two sides had reached an “agreement in draft” on the issues of troop withdrawal and counter-terrorism assurances.
The Taliban, however, insist that talks cannot move ahead until foreign forces leave Afghanistan.
"Peace will require that we find common ground on four inter-connected issues: troop withdrawal, counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan dialogue & negotiations, and reduction in the violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire," Khalilzad said in his tweet.
“Nothing will be final until we agree on all 4 issues,” he added.
The Taliban have refused so far to meet with the government of President Ashraf Ghani, calling it illegitimate.
The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end following the US invasion in 2001, but 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants, who still control large swathes of land.
American forces have remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.
2019.05.03 / 16:53