KABUL: Foreign troops will be pushed out of Afghanistan by force if the US fails to satisfy a May 1 deadline to withdraw its remaining troopers, the Taliban mentioned on Friday.
This follows US President Joe Biden’s announcement that he might prolong the American army presence within the nation.
Foreign troops led by the US have been stationed in Afghanistan for the reason that ousting of the Taliban from energy in late 2001. Under a deal signed by the US and Taliban in Qatar in February 2020, the US army ought to fully go away Afghanistan by May. The US has already withdrawn a number of hundreds of its troopers, however a few of its 2,500 troops nonetheless stay on Afghan soil.
Biden admitted on Thursday that the remaining troops might keep in Afghanistan for “tactical reasons” after the deadline. He added, nonetheless, that he didn’t intend to maintain the troops in Afghanistan previous subsequent yr.
“If anyone violates the Doha agreement and adopts the path of war, Afghans have a long history of giving sacrifices for the freedom of their country and can drive out by force the foreign troops,” Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, informed Arab News over the telephone.
“No one should try the will of Afghans in this regard . . . and all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan on the set time as Afghans have the right to decide about their country. Whoever wants to extend the 20 years of war will suffer more financial and human losses,” he mentioned, including that the Doha settlement signed by the group with the earlier US administration of Donald Trump was “the logical, rational and good way for ending the war and tragedy.”
Biden’s announcement that it might be exhausting for the US to satisfy the May 1 deadline comes forward of an American-sponsored convention on the Afghan peace course of in Turkey the place, within the coming weeks, worldwide gamers, the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, are anticipated to barter the formation of an interim administration in Afghanistan that will contain Taliban representatives — an concept opposed by President Ashraf Ghani whose second time period in workplace began final yr.
Ghani, whose authorities was sidelined from the US-Taliban talks in Doha final yr, has been demanding that foreign troops stay in Afghanistan for a couple of extra years and that the Biden administration assessment the US cope with the Taliban.
In response to Biden’s Thursday announcement, Ghani’s spokesman, Dawa Khan Menapal, mentioned that foreign troops wanted to remain longer because the Taliban had not fulfilled their obligations below the Doha settlement to cut back violence within the nation and reduce ties with foreign militants, together with Al-Qaeda.
Following the Doha accord, the Taliban have halted assaults on foreign troops however on the identical time intensified their assaults on Afghan safety forces.
“We, from the start, opposed the hasty withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. We are facing a joint threat and it needs a joint campaign,” Menapal informed Arab News.
While Biden mentioned that State Secretary Antony Blinken was assembly NATO allies to resolve proceed with the withdrawal in a “safe and orderly way,” issues are rising that lacking the May deadline could “put the Taliban in a dilemma and may prompt some of the field commanders to resume attacks on foreign troops,” Kabul-based political analyst and former journalist, Taj Mohammad, informed Arab News.
“My analysis is that there will be more bloodshed, more violence, attacks and counter-attacks,” he mentioned.
Others consider the extension of the foreign army presence was aimed toward forcing Ghani and the Taliban to achieve compromise in Turkey.
“The extension is another lifeline support for a political deal for Afghanistan to succeed. This extension has multi-dimensional aspects of a different kind to almost all stakeholders,” analyst and former journalist, Zabihullah Pakteen, mentioned.
Former authorities adviser, Torek Farhadi, mentioned that the postponement of the withdrawal and the Turkey assembly had been the final probability to stop one other civil battle in Afghanistan.
“The Europeans, who are concerned about a wave of refugees from Afghanistan in the event of another civil war, tried hard to convince the Americans to stay and keep the status quo,” he informed Arab News, including that Washington needed to drag out from Afghanistan because it was already annoyed with Ghani over rife corruption in Kabul and rising ethnic tensions.
“America was exhausted. After a trillion-dollars investment, it became ready to throw in the towel and decide to leave, ending its longest war at the 20th year anniversary mark,” he mentioned.
If the US does resolve to go away, Farhadi added, on the convention in Turkey and different conferences to comply with, the Afghan file would lose its worldwide army character and turn out to be “an internal conflict peace-making endeavor.”