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Khalilzad faces backlash over ‘counter-productive’ peace effort

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KABUL: The U.S. envoy for Afghan peace is facing backlash for failing to curb violence with his peace effort, as the Taliban is expanding by leaps and bounds.

The Afghan Senate on Monday said the United States should press the Taliban more to make them relent and engage in intra-Afghan peace negotiations.

“Peace process would be worthless if violence continue to show an upward trend and Taliban hostilities grow,” said the Senate’s deputy spokesman, Mohammad Alam Izadyar. Amid Khalilzad’s ongoing trip to Pakistan, the release of Taliban prisoners has only empowered the militants.

In contrast with the people’s demand, Izadyar said, the US agreed to free 5,000 prisoners, adding that citizens want the released to be done in condition of reduction of violence from the militants’ side.  

Khalilzad has recently kicked off a new round of peace negotiations. The US Department of State said in a statement that Khalilzad has departure Washington to traveling Doha, Islamabad and Kabul to obtain the agreement between the Afghan parties and the practical steps necessary for the intra-Afghan-negotiations.

“In addition, building on his last visit, he will review with the parties the implementation of all commitments in the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and the U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Declaration, specifically reduced violence and prisoner releases,” the statement reads.

Even after the three day ceasefire agreed between the Afghan government and Taliban during the Eid-Al-Fitr, the Taliban have been conducting an average of 30 attacks in a day, according to Afghan military authority.

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