The Kabul Times.
Politics

‘US will not accept Taliban demand for quick withdrawal from Afghanistan’

By: Lailuma Noori

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said US needs a good deal, not a fake deal with the Taliban group. He said on a tweet that he hoped the Trump Administration would not give into absurd Taliban demand for US withdrawal within 18 months, regardless of conditions on the ground, saying they need a good deal, not a fake deal.
“We now have a small US military footprint, along with our allies, that is an insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types and help hold Afghanistan together,” he tweeted.
The US Republican Senator by pointing to an article he had previously written about US troop withdrawal within 18 months has disagreed for possible agreement with the Taliban in connection with US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 18 months.
Taliban has proved that they do not care of the life of ordinary people in Afghanistan. Therefore, US should seriously review possible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Previously, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had also asked for reviewing US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Hasty US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised concerns among political elite figures and the people of Afghanistan. Presence of international forces in particular US military forces is considered as a serious need for the protection of political and security stability of the country.
Recent reports of the country’s defense and security organs indicate that Daesh has changed to a serious threat for Afghanistan. Therefore, possible US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be considered as a starting point for increasing activities of Daesh in the country.
It is said that Taliban is trying to make use of the opportunity for their activity in the country as they had close link with al-Qaeda in the past. The hasty US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan can change Afghanistan to safe haven for international terrorism as Taliban along with al-Qaeda network can create serious and possible threat for Afghanistan government; therefore, US troop withdrawal will have heavy outcome.
Afghanistan is now facing with both internal and external threats posed by domestic and international terrorist groups as increasing activities of terrorist groups in the central Asia and their links with the Taliban group in Afghanistan is considered as regional threat for Afghanistan. Presence of international forces particularly US troops in Afghanistan, terrorist groups cannot pose threats for security forces and Afghanistan government.
In the meantime, we should not forget increasing capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) as they have strongly stood against the enemies of peace and stability of Afghanistan, but they need further training and military equipment and continued support from the international forces.
The US Republican Senator’s remark in connection with hasty US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan comes amid preparation for another round of talks between US delegates led by Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives. It is determined that the next round of talks will be held on July 24. Meanwhile, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh has said peace efforts will be merely a slogan unless Taliban gets ready for ceasefire and holds direct talks with Afghanistan government.

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The Kabul Times.