AT News Report
KABUL: After the US special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad concluded his five rounds of talks with the Taliban where both sides agreed on several points including troop withdrawal and counter-terrorism, but the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib termed the efforts as self-leverage.
Afghanistan’s NSA Mohib on Tuesday warned that reaching an agreement with the Taliban without the government could amount to dishonoring the 9/11 victims and US troops who lost their lives.
“It would be a shame if a deal was made with the terrorists who killed more than 5,400 Americans, and if they were given control of the lives of the Afghan people. That would be a win for those terrorists,” Mohib said in an interview with Fox News during his visit to New York.
Mohib said that the Taliban can “absolutely not” be trusted to live up to any promise from its side of the bargain should a final agreement be inked.
“How can you trust a terrorist group? The Taliban have been asking for things, and they have been given everything they have asked for and have not delivered on anything since. Their demand was that they wanted to talk to the U.S. directly, one discussion and then they would switch to an inter-Afghan dialogue so that a deal could be reached,” he said. “That has not been the case, they are still standing on what they want.”
“Their wish is for a total U.S. withdrawal and that continues to be their demand. But they are not willing to budge on their support of terrorist activity and terrorist groups. They can’t move away from their DNA,” Mohib said.
However, US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass reacted to the remarks in a series of tweets.
“Americans and Afghans have stood shoulder to shoulder to fight terror, build better future for Afghanistan. We each have a sacred duty to honor our fallen heroes and citizens in everything we do,”
“For this American, Afghan corruption and misuse of equipment, funds, and other support provided by the American people dishonors the memory of our fallen,”
“So do any Afghans who put their personal or political interests ahead of the national interest and the opportunity right now to achieve the goal for which so many have sacrificed: peace in Afghanistan,” Bass tweeted.