Taliban Will ‘Make Necessary Desicions’ if US Delays Pullout; Rise of Foreign Fighters in Afghanistan’s East:

 

“All Afghans have the right to be involved in serving and safeguarding the Islamic establishment and their country,” said Baradar.

Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar in interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency said the Doha agreement with US has been “positive so far,” but if the US does not pullout troops on schedule the Taliban “will make the necessary decisions.”

Mullah Baradar told Tasnim that the Doha agreement between the Taliban and the US entails the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in a 14-month timetable.

“The results of implementation of the Doha agreement with the US have been positive so far. In the first stage, the US announced it has evacuated five military bases, and the number of American troops has been reduced to 8,600, as this process continues,” he added.

“However, if the foreign forces do not leave Afghanistan on schedule, the Islamic Emirate will make the necessary decisions,” he warned.

Baradar underlined that there is no hidden agreement between the group and the US.

Speaking to future plans for governing, Baradar said:

“All Afghans have the right to be involved in serving and safeguarding the Islamic establishment and their country.”

He also urged the Afghan government to release the Taliban prisoners to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.

“The release of all 5,000 Taliban prisoners is the precondition for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” he stated.

Under the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in Doha, the Taliban demanded the release of 5,000 inmates, and the Afghan government has so far released 4,245.

In exchange, the Taliban has released over 860 government hostages, out of 1,000 total mentioned in agreement.

In such a situation, several former members of the Taliban believe that delaying the implementation of the US-Taliban peace agreement will damage the peace process in the country.

“If the Americans’ commitments to the Taliban– especially regarding the prisoner release – are not implemented by the Americans, and the US does not act in a hurry, it is very likely that the reached agreement will be nullified,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

“The problems that currently exist between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Afghanistan are causing more violence every day, and both sides are showing off their power,” said Sayed Hassan Paktiyawal, MP.

Intra- Afghan talks

The US’s special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is traveling to press for intra-Afghan talks, the US State Department said on Saturday, and he plans to visit five nations.

Khalilzad departed on July 24 for Kabul, Afghanistan; Sofia, Bulgaria; Oslo, Norway; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Doha, Qatar, the US State Department said.

In Doha and Kabul, Khalilzad will press for resolution of the remaining issues ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, specifically final prisoner exchanges and reduced violence, according to the statement.

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The number of foreign fighters has increased on the battlefields in the eastern parts of Afghanistan, with most of them Pakistani nationals who are fighting alongside the Taliban in areas along the Durand Line, an Afghan Army general said on Monday.

On Sunday, a UN report submitted to the United Nations Security Council indicated that the total number of “Pakistani foreign terrorist fighters” in Afghanistan is estimated at “between 6,000 and 6,500, most of them with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”

“Intelligence information shows that there are retired Pakistani colonels who are training the local Taliban,” said Gen. Karim Niazi, commander of the second regiment of Selab 201 Corps.

A captured Taliban member, named Shiran, said Pakistani fighters are fighting in support of the Taliban in Khogyani district, Nangarhar province.

“When we came to this mosque, there was a Pakistani who was killed by (Afghan) commandos and I was arrested,” Shiran said.

The issue was spotlighted by Pakistani lawmaker Ali Wazir, who raised questions on his Twitter account, asking about why the Pakistani bodies are brought to Pakistan from Afghanistan and what are Pakistan’s priorities.

Last week, Kandahar Police Chief Gen. Tadeen Khan shared a number of identity cards which, according to him, belong to Pakistani fighters who were killed in Maroof district, Kandahar province.

“Some bodies were left behind by the militants. All of them had Pakistani identity cards. This proves that they were Pakistani nationals,” said Jamal Barikzai, Kandahar police spokesman.

“Some international terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, were formed after the withdrawal of former Soviet forces. They might increase their activities after the withdrawal of US forces (from Afghanistan),” said Rahmatullah Nabil, former head of the National Directorate of Security.

Taliban Will ‘Make Necessary Desicions’ if US Delays Pullout; Rise of Foreign Fighters in Afghanistan’s East: