Taliban urges complete withdrawal in open letter to Americans

Taliban Deputy Leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar says that there is no military solution to the long-term conflict in Afghanistan.

In an open letter to the people of the United States, Mullah Baradar stated: “The past nineteen years have proven beyond any doubt that the Afghan issue cannot be resolved through the use of force or by alternating military strategies and generals.”

Baradar emphasized that the people of Afghanistan are dealing with an “imposed war.”

“It is the responsibility and in the interest of all to bring an end to this war and the implementation of the Doha agreement is the most effective way of ending it,” the letter read.

The US and the Taliban signed an agreement on February 29, 2020, aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan.

According to the deal, the US committed to withdrawing all its forces within the 14 months of the agreement. In exchange, the Taliban pledged to cut ties with terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda, and begin negotiations with the government of Afghanistan.

Mullah Baradar stated that the US-Taliban deal “with the aim that all foreign military forces along with their non-diplomatic personnel, private contractors, advisors, trainers and service providers withdraw from Afghanistan within a 14-month timeframe, while the Islamic Emirate [Taliban] would reciprocate by committing itself to prevent all threats to the security of other nations from Afghanistan.”

As per the Doha deal, the US needed to reduce its troop levels to 2,500 by December 2020 and direct talks needed to start between the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiating teams – which happened in September 2020.

Although the two sides held several meetings, they did not reach an agreement over the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks. The negotiations have since stalled and some members of the Republic’s peace team have returned to Kabul.

Meanwhile, some politicians believe that the peace talks’ failure could plunge the country into a new crisis.

“We are at a milestone, if we consider it, it is possible to reach a desirable solution. Otherwise, there would not be a war but we would witness a bigger crisis. Because both sides could use all their forces,” Ali Ahmad Osmani, a former cabinet member said.