Home Pakistan Afghanistan Afghan president’s ultimatum to Taliban: Cut ties with Pakistan & shut safe havens – Economic Times

Afghan president’s ultimatum to Taliban: Cut ties with Pakistan & shut safe havens – Economic Times

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New Delhi: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has sent a clear message to Pakistan and asserted that the Taliban should cut ties with Pakistan and that they should not maintain safe havens there.

“One of the basic needs for peace in Afghanistan is that the Taliban should cut their ties with Pakistan. If they call themselves Afghans and want to be in Afghanistan; they should not have dual citizenships,” Ashraf Ghani was quoted by Ariana News.

The Afghan president also urged Pakistan to play a positive role in the Afghan peace process.

“I urged PM of Pakistan to tell Taliban that there is no solution without a political settlement,” said Ghani.

The President has also criticized the interim government plan, emphasizing a democratic process for the power transfer.

Ghani stated that he will transfer power to the Taliban if they are elected by the people in the elections.

Ghani added, “We hope for peace, but we are ready for every danger,”, he also indicated that in the final steps, the people of Afghanistan will decide the outcome of negotiations.

Meanwhile the Biden administration said it will review a landmark United States deal with the Taliban, focusing on whether the insurgent group has reduced attacks in Afghanistan, in keeping with its side of the agreement.

Washington struck a deal with the Taliban in Qatar last year, to begin withdrawing its troops in return for security guarantees from the militants and a commitment to kickstart peace talks with the Afghan government.

The US had committed to reducing the number of its troops in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600 within 135 days of signing the deal, and working with its allies to proportionally reduce the number of coalition forces in Afghanistan over the same period. Currently, there are 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan.

But violence across Afghanistan has surged despite the two sides engaging in those talks since September.

President Joe Biden’s newly appointed national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and “made clear the United States’ intention to review” the deal, said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne late on Friday.

Specifically, Washington wants to check that the Taliban are “living up to [their] commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders”, her statement continued.

It added that Sullivan “underscored that the US will support the peace process with a robust and regional diplomatic effort, which will aim to help the two sides achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent ceasefire”. Sullivan also discussed US’ support for protecting recent progress made on women and minority groups’ rights as part of the peace process.

The statement is in line with Biden’s stance on Afghanistan, who has stated that while he would reduce the number of combat troops in Afghanistan, he would not withdraw US military presence.

Biden’s nominee for state secretary, Anthony Blinken, had also hinted earlier this week that an increase in violence in Afghanistan may lead to US retaining some of it troops.

“We want to retain some capacity to deal with any resurgence of terrorism, which is what brought us there in the first place,” Blinken said in his confirmation hearing. “We have to look carefully at what has actually been negotiated. I haven’t been privy to it yet.”

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