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Afghanistan could be embroiled in civil war after US troop pullout

NSA Hamdullah Mohib fears threat of civil war looms large on Afghanistan after a whirlwind American troop pullout, but he is confident Afghan government will spare no effort to cushion the blow of an impending US exit

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, warned that Afghanistan is facing a real threat of civil war after the United States pulls outs its troops from the country.

But the Afghan government, he said, is preparing for peace and war and was making every effort to reduce the threat of civil war in the country.

Fears that Afghanistan could be embroiled in civil war comes after US President Trump’s administration announced plans to quickly withdraw most of its troops from Afghanistan. The aerial support and strikes by American troops has been a lifeline for Afghan security forces in tackling the threat of the Taliban, as it helped thwart a bloody attack on Helmand.

“US air support is now crucial for Afghan security forces on the battlefield against the Taliban,” he said.

Mohib, however, stressed that the Afghan government will stick to peace talks with the Taliban to reach a political settlement to the conflict. But he took on the Taliban for “expecting the Afghan people to capitulate to them”, calling on the militants to negotiate in good faith.

This is as some analysts believe that Afghanistan is already embroiled in a civil war, and if the peace process fails, the war will intensify with the withdrawal of US troops.

These remarks come more than five weeks after the start of intra-Afghan talks in Qatar, but the two sides have so far failed to agree on an agenda for the negotiations as the level of violence across Afghanistan has risen sharply.

With the uptick in violence, the two sides have been accusing each other of escalating violence since the start of peace talks to gain leverage in the talks.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, said on Monday that the continuation of violence could threaten the peace process, ‘the US-Taliban agreement and the fundamental understanding that there is no military solution to the war’.

Under an agreement reached between the United States and the Taliban in Doha in February, US forces are scheduled to withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan by May 2021. Although US military officials have repeatedly called the process conditional, US President Donald Trump has emphasized the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan even earlier.

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