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Editorial: New Deadline

After failing to meet the May 1 deadline agreed upon by the former US president Trump Administration and the Taliban, now the new deadline popped up. US troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11. The current US President Joe Biden after a rigorous policy review has decided to pull out troops in Afghanistan and eventually bring an end to its 20 years war. Before looking at the prospect of withdrawal, it’s important to discuss why the US troops stepped in in Afghanistan 20 years ago. They came here after 9/11, after an attack claimed by the al-Qaeda terrorist network in New York that killed thousands of people. The war on terror was their sole slogan. They came here to eliminate terrorist groups who turned Afghanistan into their safe havens. They also came here to establish their democratic system that somehow worked and today we have an elected president by votes not weapons. Freedom of expression, the rights of women and children were once again resorted while during the Taliban regime it was ignored at all. We became a hot topic on the world’s headlines and the world showed immense interest in construction and reconstruction of Afghanistan. We have made progress in all spheres from health to education, from sports to showbiz, and in the political arena. There was no problem at all till 2006 where Taliban and other militant groups were almost abolished and the Afghan people were enjoying peaceful life and can travel across the country without any fear or intimidation. But gradually the Taliban and other terrorist groups started remerging. Taliban once again appear but this time from a strong position where even some regional countries started supporting them. Moreover, 25 big and small terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (IS) also known as Daesh extremist group appeared right under the nose of the US troops in Afghanistan. With this, it’s more than clear that US presence failed to fight the terrorist groups rather they became powerful and now the general prospect is that the US lost the war and the terrorist groups defeated the superpower country. Now the US says it will leave the country in September without any condition with or without any deal with the Taliban – a group who already refused to attend any conference on the Afghan peace. Indeed, the irresponsible withdrawal will have a bad consequence not only for Afghanistan but for the world, especially to the US itself. Preventing another 9/11 type terrorist attack needs a responsible and well-calculated peace plan and withdrawal.

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