Doha deal failed Afghans, brought terror and horror instead: Official

The US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February last year has failed Afghans and instead only ensured a ceasefire between the United States and the Taliban, an Afghan National Security Council official said Sunday.

In a post on Facebook, Rahmatullah Andar, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said: “The Doha agreement did not meet the expectations of the Afghans.

“This deal has only ensured [Taliban’s] ceasefire with the US, while relations between the Taliban and the Afghans remained limited to killings, terror and horror.”

He also implied that the Doha agreement has done more harm than good.

“From the perspective of Afghans, the Doha [agreement] has wasted time for peace, inflicted heavy casualties and financial losses on the Afghans,” Andar said.

The agreement signed between the US and Taliban in Doha a year ago failed to include the Afghan government. However, the government has welcomed the decision by President Joe Biden’s administration to review the agreement.

As per the deal, all foreign troops are scheduled to be withdrawn from the country by May 1. However, indications at this stage point towards an extension of US and NATO troop presence.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the US-Taliban deal, the insurgent group on Sunday issued a statement urging Washington to uphold its part of the agreement.

The Taliban also stated that the implementation of the agreement “must be utilized to improve the situation and pushing it in the wrong direction must be avoided.”

The Taliban’s statement comes just three days after US Central Command chief, General Kenneth F. McKenzie said the US still continues to see levels of violence that are way too high.

“I place a large measure of the blame on the Taliban who have continued to mount offensive operations and targeted killings of Afghan officials but the excessive violence has led the government to launch their own defensive operations to protect themselves – the violence while too high on both sides,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie also stressed that there is no sign that the Taliban had severed ties with al-Qaeda, as called for in the US-Taliban agreement.

“In my clear judgment rests largely on the Taliban; we also continue to … look for signs of a Taliban break with al-Qaeda and I have not at this point seen any definitive signs that would lead to believe they’re prepared to or able to honor their obligations,” McKenzie added.