Fear of Taliban conquering Kabul is overblown: Zalmai Khalilzad

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad

Washington … News Time

Zalmai Khalilzad, the US special envoy to Afghanistan, said such predictions were unnecessarily negative that the Taliban would soon defeat Afghan security forces and take over Kabul when U.S and coalition forces withdraw. In a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Zalmai Khalilzad said he personally believed that statements about the breakdown of Afghan forces and the occupation of the Taliban were incorrect. The Associated Press (AP) says the committee is deeply concerned about President Joe Biden’s announcement of a full withdrawal of all troops by September, which could escalate tensions in Afghanistan and escalate the civil war. According to the AP, not only lawmakers but also senior US military leaders have expressed support for the US military presence there to block the Taliban. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, has also expressed hope that Afghan forces can only stand on their own two feet if the United States continues to provide them with some form of assistance. However, he told reporters that he has a variety of scenarios in front of him since May 1.

Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, a fierce critic of the evacuation, said there was no chance that the Taliban would keep its February 2020 promises to the Trump administration. It also said it would join peace talks and end all support for al-Qaeda. He said that it seems certain that the Taliban will take over the country and the country will return to the situation of September 9, 2001. Michael McCaul said that since President Biden’s announcement, the Taliban have intensified their attacks and seized their territory and checkpoints. He said that without a military presence in Afghanistan, the United States was giving him the opportunity to further strengthen his ties with a terrorist group such as al-Qaeda, which wants to attack the United States and its allies again.

Zalmai Khalilzad said the Taliban had to choose between two very different futures, either to pursue a path of peace and turn their movement into a political movement and become part of their country. Seize power through military force and be subject to sanctions and isolation. Zalmai Khalilzad said the Taliban’s first choice was to negotiate peace, turn a violent uprising into a political movement and become part of a country that is part of the international community. Respect is given. He said the second alternative was that if the Taliban resorted to military force, they would face sanctions, they would be isolated globally, and they would be isolated regionally and internationally. There will be opposition at the grassroots level. “We and our allies will continue to support the Afghan security forces,” he said. However, in response to a question later, he said that US troops would not be able to directly assist Afghan forces.

Asked by the committee’s chairman, Gregory Max, if the Taliban’s promises were not kept, the wheel of social and political success in Afghanistan would turn. In response, Khalilzad said the Taliban believe that whatever they do on these issues will determine whether they will be part of the future government and whether Afghanistan will receive international aid. Khalilzad said the Taliban say they want international aid and want it accepted, sanctions lifted, and not left alone. Khalilzad said the Taliban had told him that their ideology had evolved. The Taliban have said they will protect Afghanistan’s historical heritage, even though they have demolished the Bamiyan Buddha statues, one of Afghanistan’s most important historical sites. Zalmai said the Taliban themselves had told them that women had rights, including participation in politics, education and employment. He told the committee that the Taliban’s statements indicated that they had learned a lesson, as they had changed, but that the United States would not believe them. It remains to be seen what happens. Is there a political settlement? Khalilzad said future US aid or relations would depend on the Taliban’s conduct.

Zalmai Khalilzad said that the Taliban had not intervened in any real way in the withdrawal of US forces and it was hoped that they would continue this attitude. He said diplomatic efforts were being made to reach agreements with neighboring countries to keep US counter-terrorism forces close to Afghanistan so that they could take immediate action to deal with any future threats. Zalmai Khalilzad was repeatedly asked about the protection of Afghan contractors and the issuance of special visas to them. In response, Khalilzad said that he would get more information and provide it to the committee members.

The committee’s ranking member, Michael McCaul, also mentioned in his opening remarks the Afghans who helped the US military overcome the dangers to their caste. Calling these Afghans our heroes, he said it was our moral responsibility to get them out, and we would have to do so before they were killed by the Taliban. In response to a question about Pakistan, Zalmai Khalilzad said that there is no military solution to Afghanistan, which leads to a diplomatic solution and Pakistan’s role. He said that Pakistan has a special responsibility. He said that if Afghanistan goes to a long-term or protracted war, then Pakistan will also be affected and Pakistan will be blamed for it. He said that Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan have said that their policy has changed and they consider peace to be the best. Khalilzad said that Pakistan had signed a document never to return to the UAE. He added his name to the document, which said no militant force would take over. “I hope he will keep his promises, and we have found his recent talks with Afghanistan very encouraging,” Khalilzad said.


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