MPs blame Taliban for rise in violence as US exit begins

KABUL (Tolo News): Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Parliament, blamed the Taliban for the increase in violence and said that hundreds of civilians and security force members are killed in clashes every day as US troops are leaving.

The lawmakers expected heads of security agencies to appear on session, but the officials had traveled to Ghazni and the session was postponed for Wednesday.
The US started the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan on May 1st. US forces handed over a military camp to Afghan forces in Helmand province.

“Ghazni will fall if it does not receive equipment as well as support from the people,” said Arif Rahmani, an MP from Ghazni. “Heavy fighting is underway on the outskirts of Lashkargah,” said Nasima Niazi, an MP from Helmand. “All borders of Nuristan province are open to armed opponents,” said Qamar Banu, an MP from Nuristan.

Meanwhile, the international relations committee of the Parliament in a statement called the US withdrawal irresponsible and said the only way to remove the Taliban and the threat of other terrorist groups is national unity. “An irresponsible withdrawal, and the failure to create an alternative security mechanism, will do irreversible damage to international security,” said Qayum Sajjadi, a member of the commission.

“As foreigners leave the country, they do pro-Taliban propaganda every day,” said Iqbal Safi, an MP from Kapisa. Other lawmakers meanwhile insisted on the need for unity–among the people and between politicians–and called for a consensus among regional and international countries to overcome the current situation.

“The defense and security forces are the only true sons and defenders of this soil who are bravely defending national sovereignty against any type of plot,” Parliament Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said. “Let’s unite and announce a national jihad against the Talib,” said Abdul Sattar Husaini, an MP from Farah. The MPs said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces need to be supported by Afghans as they are paying the ultimate sacrifice in the war every day.