Saleh claims US made a mistake, conceded too much to Taliban

Coinciding with the announcement by the United States that American troop numbers are now down to 2,500 in Afghanistan, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh told the BBC in an interview that Washington has made a mistake by conceding too much to the Taliban.

“US talks with the Taliban were not a mistake in themselves, but that Mr. Trump’s administration made an error in giving the group a ‘massive concession’,” Saleh told BBC.

Saleh says the American mission, which began 20 years ago, is not yet accomplished and a total withdrawal risks more violence in the unstable country.

“We remain grateful for their assistance. But the fate of my country does not lie with the last US military helicopter,” Saleh said.

He also stated that the US delegation, dealing with the Doha agreement between Washington and the Taliban, had sworn to the Afghan government that violence would not increase with the release of Taliban prisoners.

“The US delegation came to us and swore on every Holy Scripture that if you release these 5,000 Taliban prisoners there will be no violence. We told them at the highest level that our intelligence indicated otherwise, and if we do this violence will spike. Violence has spiked,” he said.

Saleh also told the United States that it should not be deceived into negotiating with “terrorists”.

“I am telling them [US] as a friend and as an ally that trusting the Taliban without putting in a verification mechanism is going to be a fatal mistake,” Saleh said.

Meanwhile, former US National Security Adviser HR McMaster once again criticized US policies, saying that the situation in South Asia requires a stable and realistic approach.

He accused Pakistani generals of supporting the Taliban and terrorists so as to achieve their political goals in Afghanistan.

“Pakistani Taliban generals support the Taliban and other terrorist groups because they want to control at least part of Afghanistan because they want to use this strategy to prevent Indian influence in Afghanistan,” McMaster said.

Afghanistan’s first vice president and former US national security adviser both stressed that the Taliban have not yet severed ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups; The severance of which is one of the key articles in the February 29 US-Taliban Doha Agreement.