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Hekmatyar asks US president-elect to withdraw troops

AT-KABUL: The leader of Hezb-e-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has asked the US president-elect, Donald Trump to withdraw his troops from Afghanistan and let the Afghan people resolve their issues internally.

In a letter following Trump’s victory in the presidential election, Hekmatyar said that the presence of the US forces and operations, instead of killing terrorists lead to civilian casualties in the country.

He specifically pointed towards the recent operation in northern Kunduz province where 32 innocent civilians were killed.

The government signed a peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami in September after months of continuous negotiations.

Hekmatyar had originally demanded the withdrawal of the US forces from the country before he had signed the peace agreement with the government.

However, he later waivered his condition for the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan.

Despite, the National Unity Government leaders called for the continued presence of US forces but according to Hekmatyar, those who want the US forces are not committed to the nation and are not friends of the US either.

In the meantime, the US ambassador to Afghanistan Michael McKinley said last week that presidential election in the US would not affect the policies of Washington in Afghanistan and the bilateral pacts would be available between the two countries.

“I was asked many times what the impacts of these elections would be on US-Afghanistan relations and my answer is always the same, America’s long term commitment to our partnership with Afghanistan was renewed this year in Warsaw and Brussels. The US-Afghan relationship will remain strong and close because it is not based on anyone’s election, leader or party on our common interests, our people to people ties and our shared values that so deeply rooted,” Ambassador McKinley said.

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