Taliban advise Trump to review Afghan policy

US president yet to unveil Afghan policy


Tahir Khan January 22, 2017
Taliban militants hand over their weapons after joining the Afghan government's reconciliation and reintegration programme in Herat on January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Shoiab

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban urged new US President Donald Trump on Saturday to review his predecessors’ [Barack Obama and George Bush] policies towards Afghanistan, insisting that the US and its Nato allies had failed to achieve anything in the war in Afghanistan.

Trump, who took oath on Friday, is yet to unveil his Afghan policy.

The US still has nearly 10,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan who “are involved in training and advising” Afghan security forces. Obama had earlier planned to cut the number of US forces to 5,500 by 2016.

“The people of Afghanistan … are hopeful that Trump and his cabinet will not follow the wrong policies of their predecessors and keep the US away from Afghanistan,” the Taliban said.

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“If he (Trump) follows in the footsteps of Obama and Bush, and continue illegal aggression in our country without reviewing US policies, then American troops will be facing more deaths under Trump … Such an approach will also prolong and complicate the Afghan crisis,” a Taliban statement insisted.

The Pashto-language statement was posted on one of the Taliban WhatsApp groups.

The statement pointed out that the US and its allies “from nearly 50 countries” had failed to achieve anything in 16 years despite “killings, bombings and imprisonments. Billions of dollars were spent and thousands of troops were lost and injured.

“The US wasted resources, destroyed its image by installing a corrupt regime, harvesting a record poppy crop, and achieved nothing.”

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“In January, the next US president will assume the most solemn responsibility of the commander-in-chief, security of the United States and the safety of the American people. The decision I am making today ensures that my successor has a solid foundation for continued progress in Afghanistan as well as the flexibility to address the threat of terrorism as it evolves,” Obama stated in July last year.

Obama admitted in December last year the US could not wipe out the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and the situation in Afghanistan was “still tough”.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2017.

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