Blinken sees solid support for Biden’s decision

KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan’s slide into a civil strife is in no one’s interest, insists US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. He claimed seeing “across-the-board” support for President Joe Biden’s decision on withdrawing troops during his last week’s visit to Afghanistan.

In an interview with ABC News, Blinken said the Taliban had held out a string of promises in the 2020 Doha peace pact with the US. “If the Taliban has any expectation … of not being an international pariah, it’s going to have to respect the rights of women and girls,” the secretary of state remarked.

Rejecting the criticism of Biden’s withdrawal’s move, Blinken said the US had eventually achieved its objective in Afghanistan after 20 years,. “We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago, and we went because we were attacked on 9/11, and we went to take on those who had attacked us,” he commented.

The invasion was aimed at making sure that Afghanistan would not again become a haven for terrorism directed at the United States or any of its allies and partners, he explained. “We achieved the objectives that we set out to achieve,” the top diplomat maintained, saying al-Qaeda had been significantly degraded and Osama bin Laden was brought to justice 10 years ago.

In response to a query, he said the current administration was very much invested in trying to pursue the peace process in Afghanistan. The Biden government wanted to bring the Afghan parties together to see if they could arrive at some kind of political settlement, he continue “Ultimately, it is in no one’s interest in Afghanistan, whether it’s the Taliban or anyone else, it’s certainly not the people of Afghanistan, for the country to descend once again into civil war… “And our goal ultimately is an Afghanistan that finds a just and durable settlement to this conflict that has been going on for four decades. And in that situation, in that environment, terrorism is less likely to emerge.”