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ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban on Saturday accused the US President Joe Biden of violating the February 2020 peace deal by announcing a delayed troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and warned of taking every “necessary countermeasure”, saying the American side will be held responsible for all future consequences.

The Taliban issued a statement to give their response to President Biden’s announcement on Wednesday that the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan will start from May 1, 2021 and will be completed by 11 September 2021, unlike the deadline of May 1, 2021 set in the February 2020 peace deal for the complete withdrawal of the foreign troops.

“The recent announcement by the American President about withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan, no military solution to the Afghan problem, not returning to war with Taliban, not staying there forever, withdrawal not conditions-based, the Doha agreement holding importance and meaning, and withdrawal in line with it, suggests that American officials have understood the Afghan situation to an extent and the efforts of warmongering circles have failed,” the Taliban stated in a statement.

It added that the withdrawal of forces is being delayed by several months and will be completed before September.

“We would like to declare that: This decision is a clear violation of the Doha agreement and non-compliance with its commitments. As this agreement was signed in the presence of United Nations and representatives of numerous world countries and organizations, and is currently being breached by America, it is imperative that all countries and organisations that were witnesses to the signing of this agreement exert pressure on America to implement its commitments and withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by the specified date,” the statement said.

“Despite the agreement and commitments, extending the ten-day 6000 prisoners release process to six months in the initial phase, followed by not releasing the remaining prisoners in a three-month period after the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, failing to terminate blacklists, committing over twelve hundred violations and finally delaying the withdrawal date of forces by several months, all makes evident to the world that America cannot be trusted nor is it committed to its pledges and promises,” it added.

The armed group maintained that all sides should understand that the Taliban have so far complied with the agreement “exceptionally well”, has implemented it and considered it the sole solution to the conflict.

“Now as the agreement is being breached by America, it in principle opens the way for the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate to take every necessary countermeasure, hence the American side will be held responsible for all future consequences, and not the Islamic Emirate,” it warned.

The Taliban also urged the American and other foreign troops to stop “making excuses” for prolonging the war and to withdraw all their forces from Afghanistan immediately.

“The Islamic Emirate will under no circumstance ever relent on complete independence and establishment of a pure Islamic system, and remains committed to finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem following the complete and certain end of occupation,” the statement further read. On Wednesday, President Biden announced that he will withdraw remaining US troops from the “forever war” in Afghanistan, starting from May 1 and completing by September 11 on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attack.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021