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Meshrano Jirga terms new US troops’ pullout plan feckless

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Meshrano Jirga or the upper house of the parliament on Sunday termed the recent troops’ withdrawal plan of the United States ineffective and said it would prolong the Afghan war further.

The senators said that presence of the American forces after 2016 would bring no good to Afghans if Islamabad was not pressurized to stop supporting the Taliban.

They said that the United States should ask Pakistan to stop supporting insurgency in Afghanistan instead of leaving troops behind.

Shir Muhammad Akhundzada, a senator from Helmand, said that Washington should bring Islamabad under crippling pressure to end militancy in Afghanistan because the Taliban movement was getting uninterrupted support and had grown in the presence of the US forces.

Chief of the Defense Committee of Meshrano Jirga, Nader Baloch, said the presence of the American troops would be meaningless if peace and stability not returned to Afghanistan.

He said that if the White House wants to compete with regional powers through presence of the American forces then it would bring calamity to the war-hit country. The senator said the US should focus on equipping the Afghan security forces instead of prolonging the stay.

“Attack on Kunduz was an invitation of the Taliban to the US troops,” said Sami Faisal, a senator from Baghlan province. He said that insurgency provided a reason to the United States to leave its forces in Afghanistan. “It shows that the Taliban do not want to see foreign troops leaving the country; though, they term their war as jihad against foreign forces,” he said.

Nisar Haris, a member of the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the Senate, said that Afghans do not need presence of the US troops but want to see Afghan security forces equipped.

Deputy Chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, Muhammad Alam Ezidyar, said that stay of the US troops is not a solution to bring peace and security, but link between the Taliban and their supporters shall break.

“The US and other partners of Afghan government must equip the Afghan security forces as mentioned in the security agreements, already signed with Washington,” he said.

He asked the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders to offer a mechanism to equip the security forces.

Gul Ahmad Azami, a senator, said that the US troops should remain until the Afghan security forces were fully equipped.

He said that the US air support had helped the security forces to retake Kunduz back from the Taliban militants.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah in a press conference on Sunday here said that the Afghan security forces must be equipped with modern weapons because Afghans do not expect peace through stay of the US troops in Afghanistan.

The US president Barak Obama announced that 5,500 troops would remain in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

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