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Editotrial: Eventually, face-to-face meeting

Finally, President Ashraf Ghani and the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will travel to the US for their first meeting with President Joe Biden this week. It comes amid a surge in violence ahead of a planned full withdrawal of international troops. Afghan security forces and the Taliban have clashed repeatedly across the country as foreign troops to fully leave by September 11 this year. Violence remained high, and the Taliban continued to capture more districts and the Afghan security forces still remained in tactical retreatment. Reshuffle in security services also made with new acting defense and interior ministries are now focusing to strengthen the country’s security as the Taliban are expanding their foothold around the country. The replacements of security brass were made following a series of military seatbacks, involving surrender of thousands of troops in the recent weeks. The Afghan security forces also suffered casualties. Still can’t answer or figure out what President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah expects to achieve from a face-to-face meeting with Biden, though the US already pledged diplomatic, economic and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The Afghan leaders, giving the sensitivity of the situation and the opportunities arisen to achieve a permanent peace, must focus on two facts – first, the military way is no way solution to the Afghan war – second, violence committed by the Taliban is so high that undermined the general prospect of the peace talks and also erode the public trust on the Taliban. The US must understand that the Taliban are now playing a spoiler role by carrying complex attacks which are not favorable to the peace process. Since the US signed a deal with the Taliban, it would be best to utilize its influence to bring them back to the meaningful talks to end the war and bloodshed. Both President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah should display a strong determination to discuss important and key issues with the US President because it is heart-breaking to see where 20 years of US war has led to. The only winner of this war so far is the Taliban who managed to hamper out a deal. Women and children facing a frightening future await them. We don’t want the US to send more troops or to stop the withdrawal process – we should defend our own country and look after our own lives, but what we want from the US is to at least differentiate between good and bad deals, and between responsible and irresponsible withdrawal. The main objective of the US that entered Afghanistan 20 years ago, was to fight extremist and bring stability, but now leaving and is failing at both, indicating that US had no considered objective form the start.

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