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Jihadi Leader Says US Trying to ‘Retreat’ Taliban Peace Deal

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KABUL: A former jihadi leader says that the United States plans to retreat from a peace deal it signed last year with the Taliban militants, under which Washington is committed to withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan by May and end its longest war.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who leads the Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party), a jihadi organization based in Pakistan in the 1980s, says that what he interprets the US President Joe Biden’s recent statements, the United States tries to withdraw from the peace deal his predecessor Donald Trump signed with the insurgent group late February, 2020, in Qatar.

Addressing his supporters in Kabul on the 32nd anniversary of the Soviet military pullout on Sunday, Hekmatyar said that the US withdrawal from the peace agreement had no rational, logical and moral justification.

He said that the peace agreement was not just a deal signed by a person with the Taliban, but it was signed by the US government, adding that Biden’s personal and political differences with Trump should not affect the peace agreement.

The former jihadi leader said that under the deal, Washington has no option but pulling out of Afghanistan.

He said that Biden would gain nothing by continuing Afghan war and breaching the peace agreement.

The statement comes in reaction to Biden administration’s plan for reviewing the Taliban peace deal.

The US officials say that Taliban did not implement what they had promised in the agreement including cutting ties with international terrorist organizations, reducing violence in Afghanistan and holding meaningful negotiations with Ghani’s government.

Separately, the Pentagon announced they would keep soldiers in Afghanistan beyond May.

Taliban reacted to the US announcement over remaining in Afghanistan beyond May, threatening to restart attacks on the foreigner forces if they would not leave the country on the slated date.

The militants have stopped attacks on foreign troops since last February, but have intensified violence against Afghan army and police and well as civilians.

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