• publish: 27 July 2019
  • time: 9:27 pm
  • category: Excerpted
  • No: 9461
US envoy:

Taliban vow not to allow future Afghanistan to become terrorists’ hotbed

US special envoy to “peace talks” with Afghan Taliban militants says they have vowed not to let future Afghanistan be turned into terrorists’ hotbed, an ostensibly awkward pledge from a group whose terror attacks ceaselessly kill both civilians and government troops across the militant-infested country.

“The world needs to be sure that Afghanistan will not be a threat to the international community,” Zalmay Khalilzad, an afghan-born former US ambassador to the country, said on Saturday. 

“We are satisfied with the commitment that we have received (from the Taliban) on counterterrorism,” he added.

His comments came just two days after a number of Taliban-claimed bomb attacks killed more than 50 people in the capital Kabul, the eastern province of Nangarhar and the northern province of Takhar. Dozens of others also sustained wounds in the terror attacks.

The militants and the US officials are trying to strike a deal on a Taliban demand for the withdrawal of US and other foreign forces, and a US demand that the Taliban not let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism.

Several rounds of talks held in the Qatari capital of Doha have so far failed to produce significant results in restoring peace in the war-torn country.

Kabul, however, is suspicious about Taliban’s sincerity in their pledge in halting terror acts across the country. Back in March and early in the US-Taliban talks, Hamdullah Mohib, the national security adviser to the Afghan president, said counting on the Taliban to control other militants could be like “having cats guard the milk.”

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror. The military invasion ousted Taliban from power but some 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants as the Taliban has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country.

Separately on Saturday, President Ghani in a decree dissolved the secretariat of the High Peace Council, an organization founded by former president Hamid Karzai some nine years ago to negotiate with the Taliban.

Elaborating on the issue, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the authorities of the secretariat were handed over to the newly-established State Ministry of Peace Affairs.

The Taliban have refused to negotiate with the US-backed Afghan government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, denouncing it as a US puppet.

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