Connect with us

Featured

US deal with Taliban nothing but a ‘withdrawal pact’, says ex-diplomat

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: February 6, 2021)

Former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, said the agreement between the US and the Taliban has no element of peace and is basically a withdrawal pact for American troops from Afghanistan. 

Speaking during a virtual event titled The Afghan Peace Process: Progress or Peril, which was organized by the Hudson Institute, Haqqani said he sees the February 2020 agreement as nothing short of a withdrawal pact. 

He said the Taliban were made to commit to only one thing – that they would enter intra-Afghan negotiations. He said the Taliban were not made to commit to actually agreeing to peace. 

Haqqani said the definition of peace for the Taliban is very different from the US.

“Taliban’s definition of peace is very different from that of the US or the Afghan government. The Taliban believes that once their Islamic Emirate is restored, peace is restored,” said Haqqani, who is currently the Director for South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute.

The Afghan government and the people of the country would welcome the predictability and discipline that might come with change of administration in the US, he noted.

“When state actors and non-state actors negotiate, usually there is a ceasefire as part of the deal. That hasn’t been done in Afghanistan? I don’t understand what reduction in violence is, does it mean two people instead of 10 being killed or 10 instead of 20?” he asked.

The Trump administration signed the agreement with the Taliban in February last year in Doha and as per the deal, the US agreed to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April this year. 

The Taliban was meant to reduce violence, cut all ties with terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda and enter into peace talks with the Afghan government. 

Bill Roggio, a senior fellow and editor of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, who also participated meanwhile said that to understand what Taliban wants one needs to read their statements.

“The only acceptable outcome is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They have not fought all these years to take a silly ministerial post. What Taliban has been doing in the meantime is hollowing out Afghan civil society. All signs that Taliban is using these talks to run out the clock. It is not going to agree to give up violence,” he said.

“The Taliban promised before 9/11 that they will not host al-Qaeda and they lied. Why should we believe them today?” Roggio asked.

Javid Ahmad, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the Atlantic Council, meanwhile stated during the event that Afghanistan as a country is complicated.

“The US presence has now effectively become a part of the Afghan power dynamics. Probably will remain so for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“There is a need for clarity in purpose, policy, and approach. We need clarity not just on Afghanistan’s future but also America’s future in Afghanistan. Previous administration drew a moral equivalence between the Taliban and Afghan government and so the outcome was one big mess,” Ahmad said.

According to Ahmad, Pakistan is hoping to dictate the talks and in the process bypass the Afghan government.

“Pakistan’s main audience has been Washington not Kabul. So difficult to come to terms with them on any bilateral agreement. The terms they are pushing for is a direct say in Afghanistan’s foreign and security policy and so Pakistan has traditionally treated us as a half state,” he said.

He did say however that the Afghan government is hoping the new Biden administration will work to redress the balance between the Taliban and the Afghan government so as to ensure that the Taliban “abandons their pursuit of creating their own version of Afghan apartheid” – a minority like rule over the majority of the population.

He said: “That is why I think … the belief of the broader Afghan public is that a US reset is not only warranted but it’s necessary; it’s required and I am really glad that the Biden administration is reviewing the key elements of that deal.”

Ahmad also stated Afghanistan is working very closely with its US partners, who will be sending a team to Kabul soon. 

He said the immediate focus “on our end would be not just on the violence reduction but also on the ceasefire”.

“We’ll also see what the US decides to do in the NATO administration of course in mid-February but none of our NATO partners are in favor of withdrawing its forces by May 1 deadline,” he said – in reference to the NATO defense ministers meeting scheduled for later this month.

Featured

Kabul residents come out en mass in support of security forces

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2021)

Thousands of Kabul residents took to the streets of the city at 9pm on Tuesday night chanting slogans, including Allahu Akbar (God is Great), in support of the Afghan security forces who are battling the Taliban on multiple fronts across Afghanistan. 

In addition to chanting slogans, residents waved the country’s flag, showing support for the republic system and the government forces. 

Thousands more stood on the roofs of their houses and collectively raised their voices while others shouted out the windows of apartment blocks. 

Just one hour earlier, however, the city was rocked by a car bomb that exploded outside the acting defense minister, Bismillah Mohammadi’s house in Sherpur in the center of Kabul. 

But the explosion spurred people on to come out in their droves to show their support for the country’s troops – some of whom were still fighting militants who had stormed Mohammadi’s residence after the explosion. 

Nangarhar residents also joined in and took to the streets in Jalalabad on Tuesday night, while Herat residents started the movement on Monday night. 

The show of support comes a day after President Ashraf Ghani addressed a joint session of the upper and lower houses of parliament, the Meshrano Jirga and the Wolesi Jirga, on Monday and called on MPs and Senators to use their influence to mobilize the country to stand by the security forces. 

Continue Reading

Featured

Car bomb detonated outside acting defense minister’s home in Kabul

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2021)

Militants targeted the acting minister of defense, Bismillah Mohammadi’s house in the center of Kabul on Tuesday evening after detonating an explosives-laden car. 

The explosion in Sherpur area, in PD10, ripped through the city at about 8pm.

According to officials, after the explosion, assailants stormed Mohammadi’s house. They said Mohammadi was safe but there were casualties among his bodyguards. 

However, details have not yet been released. 

Meanwhile, sources told Ariana News that at least ten people were wounded in the explosion and had been taken to hospital. 

Security forces have been deployed in the area and are reportedly still engaged in a gun battle with the assailants.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Former vice-president Younus Qanuni meanwhile said in a voice message that Mohammadi was not at home at the time of the attack and “his family members were evacuated from the attack scene.”

Continue Reading

Featured

Govt rolls out curfew in 31 provinces to curb Taliban activities

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: July 24, 2021)

The Afghan government announced Saturday it has imposed a curfew in 31 provinces around the country in a bid to curb Taliban activity.

According to the Ministry of Interior’s deputy spokesman Ahmad Zia Zia, the curfew will come into effect immediately and will be enforced from 10pm to 4am. 

Kabul, Nangarhar and Panjshir provinces are the only three that have been exempt. 

“Based on the security [situation] officials announced a curfew in 31 provinces; the decision was taken to prevent Taliban activities,” said Zia.

Meanwhile, residents of Kapisa province said that a number of families have been displaced due to clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban in Nijrab, Alasay and Tagab districts.

“Due to the war between ANDSF and Taliban in Nijrab, Alasay and Tagab districts, many of the residents of the districts have been displaced. We want to know what government intends to do about this,” said Shamila Mashal, a civil society activist.

In addition to these districts, heavy clashes have been ongoing between ANDSF and Taliban in Ghazni, Wardak, Takhar, Kunduz, Kunar, Laghman, Herat, Helmand and Nimruz provinces.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Ariana News. All rights reserved!