Afghan Taliban offered peace negotiations to America
15 February, 2018
ISLAMABAD: In an open letter, Afghan Taliban on Wednesday offered peace negotiations to the American people and the Congressmen, asking them to press their leaders to end invasion, as President Trump’s new strategy was failing to browbeat the insurgents. On January 30, Trump had ruled out talks with the Taliban and declared to ‘finish’ them after a string of Taliban-claimed attacks killed nearly 125 people and injured about 300 others in Kabul.
The offer comes amid increased US airstrikes against the Taliban in southern and northern Afghanistan as Trump’s administration is now mainly focusing on the use of force against the insurgents.
On Feb 6, the US Central Command said American forces had launched a series of precision strikes and a US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress dropped 24 precision guided munitions on Taliban fighting positions in northern Badakhshan province.
The US had earlier carried out strikes in southern Helmand, where the Taliban still control many areas.
The Taliban letter, however, insists that the US strikes have no impact and that civilians were killed in the attacks. “Only in past September – in accordance with Trump’s new strategy – American forces used all their new powers and carried out 751 air strikes. You should ask your generals that despite using such force, have you retaken even a single inch of land from the Taliban or have they become even more powerful,” the letter said.
The letter from the Taliban leadership was released in English, Pashto, Dari, Arabic and Urdu languages.
Afghan government has not offered comments on the letter, however, they have earlier insisted that Taliban are ‘source’ of what they call an imposed war.
“Your president and his military and political officials following his war policies still speak the language of war in Afghanistan. They intentionally release fake statistics for the sake of their vested interests and misguide you and the world by throwing dust in your eyes. The reality is that in contemporary world, the use of force and arms has been replaced by peaceful dialogue and wars cannot be won with lies,” the letter reads.
“If you want peaceful dialogue with the Afghans specifically and with the world generally, then make your president and the war-mongering congressmen and Pentagon officials understand this reality and compel them to adopt a rational policy towards Afghanistan. This will be the most constructive step for the stability of your people, the Afghans as well as the whole world.” The letter also drew attention of the US casualties in the Afghan war. “In this lopsided war and as confirmed by your own military authorities, 3,546 American and foreign soldiers have been killed, more than 20,000 American troops injured and tens of thousands more are suffering mentally.”
The Taliban reminded the American people that their leaders had imposed a ‘corrupt regime’ on Afghanistan. “They are number one internationally in administrative and financial corruption and number one internationally in usurping of land and embezzling international aid.”
Invitation: Meanwhile, the Taliban have invited Republican senator Rand Paul to visit their political office in Qatar for talks, days after the Taliban office said they had held a series of talks with Pakistan, China, Qatar and several other countries to discuss prospects of political settlement. “We invite the responsible US senator @RandPaul in his official capacity to visit our political office in Doha for mutual talks,” a Taliban Twitter account said.
“We’ll prove to Mr @Rand Paul, the immediate US withdrawal from AFG will bring peace to or country & will enhance international security,” according to the Twitter account being handled by what it says ‘authorized correspondent by Information Committee of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’.
Taliban call themselves as Islamic Emirate, the name they would use in their 1996-2001 rule.
The Taliban extended the invitation after the senator opposed the war in Afghanistan and told Fox News that the US spends some 50 billion dollars on Afghanistan every year, and that the money is wasted.