KABUL (Tolo News): Afghanistan will be plunged into a civil war if international troops leave, senior presidential adviser Mohammad Mohaqiq said a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kabul where he reassured Afghan leaders that Washington’s partnership with Afghanistan and its people will be enduring despite President Biden’s decision to disengage the US from a 20-year conflict.
Mohaqiq warned that the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan will reinject new strength to the reemergence of extremism and the expansion of fundamentalist groups like al-Qaeda. “A new chapter will open. Possibly, this will be against the interests of Afghanistan. There is also possibility that terrorism fronts are strengthened. this is something predictable,” said Mohaqiq.
Mohaqiq warned to fight the Taliban if the group continues to insist on violence. “If the Taliban agreed on peace, we will be very happy because more violence in Afghanistan needs to be stopped, but if they insist on violence, no one will abandon the ground easily to his rival. So, we are determined, we are prepared and will take more measures,” said Mohaqiq.
Meanwhile, The New York Times in a report has said that Pentagon and other US intelligence agencies are working on a plan for the deployment of US troops in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to make sure that Afghanistan is not becoming a safe haven for terrorists again.
“The US needs to keep its influence in the region whether military or economic influence to crush terrorism as it takes terrorism as a serious threat,” said MP Nematullah Karyab. “The US has invested in Afghanistan for several years and does not want the investment to go in vain, therefore the US tries to keep its influence in the region so that it is able to act urgently if needed,” said MP Khan Agha Rezayee.
According to The New York Times, Turkey, which has long had a direct relationship with Afghanistan in addition to its role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, is leaving troops behind who could help the C.I.A. collect intelligence on al-Qaeda cells. “In case of a possible agreement about the presence of Islamic forces, Turkey in the view of its experience can lead these forces,” said military analyst Assadullah Nadim.
Indian External Affairs Ministry in a statement referring to the foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan emphasized the need for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to help find a political settlement in the country. “India is of the view that an Afghan peace process should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled.
Any political settlement must be inclusive and should preserve the socio-economic and political gains of the past 19 years. India supports a united, democratic and sovereign Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence and targeted killings in Afghanistan. India has called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“We have noted the decision of the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and to end its military operations there. We are closely following the ongoing intra-Afghan peace process. Afghan people have seen more than four decades of war and unrest and deserve long-lasting peace and development,” the statement said. The announcement of the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan has been accompanied with many concerns.
More than two-third of nearly 50,000 votes in a Facebook poll conducted by TOLOnews believe that civil war would be the consequence of US withdrawal while 31% believe that US departure will pave the way for peace. Also, 85% of nearly 62,000 votes in a Facebook poll conducted by TOLOnews believe that the Taliban will not engage in meaningful peace talks with the Islamic Republic before the last US soldier leaves the country in September.