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Ministry of Defense’s reaction to Taliban warning; Continuation of war is not the answer

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KABUL: The government reacted to a fresh Taliban threat, saying that continuing of war and violence by Taliban only harms civilians.

Taliban earlier threatened to intensify violence if the United States keeps troops in Afghanistan beyond May that was expected to withdraw all soldiers under an agreement Washington signed with Taliban in February 2020.

“Continuing of war by this group (Taliban) has nothing except harming civilians, destroying infrastructures and pushing Afghanistan backward. Taliban cannot reach their goals by war, they need to obey what the people of Afghanistan will, they should reduce violence and explain their demands in dialogues,” Fawad Aman, spokesman at the ministry of defense said Saturday.

The United States accuses Taliban of not cutting ties with al-Qaeda. Taliban had promised to cut ties with all international terrorist groups. The insurgents reject Washington’s allegations regarding keeping relations with al-Qaeda.

The group warned that the United States as the violator of the agreement would be accountable for continuing of war.

“The people of Afghanistan pay the price of war. People became disappointed about peace and Taliban’s integration,” Khalil Khoshhal, a political expert said Saturday.

Joe Biden, the US President had earlier said that their withdrawal in May would be “very tough”, but emphasized that Washington would not stay in the war-hit country for long.

The US has 2,500 troops in Afghanistan.

“America wants to gain a political agreement from Afghan peace process and this agreement is impossible to be gained by May 1. Therefore, the US military presence should be extended in Afghanistan so the US could implement responsible withdrawal,” Niloofar Sakhi, lecturer at the George Washington University, said.

Meanwhile, the German parliament approved government’s demand to keep soldiers in Afghanistan until January 2022.

Russia warns that any delay in the US withdrawal from Afghanistan could damage intra-Afghan agreements.

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