Drawdown from Afghanistan


SPEAKING at the Economic Club of Washington, US Secre
tary of State Mike Pompeo said the US President Donald Trump wants to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan before the 2020 election. He said his country wants the Afghans to take their country back.
Before winning the presidential election in 2016, Trump had pledged to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and end America’s longest war and definitely before going to the polls, he wants to fulfil this pledge to woo his American voters in his favour. Then the Afghan peace process continuing in Doha has also proved to be positive and so far heading in the right direction. In previous rounds of talks, the two sides had agreed on a draft framework that included the withdrawal of US troops, a discussion on Taliban’s commitment that the Afghan territory would not be used by international terror groups, and that a ceasefire would be implemented across the country. But the Taliban insists that it will not commit to any of these things until the US announces a withdrawal timeline. Hence, we understand that the very statement of US Secretary of State will serve as a music to the ears of the Taliban and with one of their demands regarding timeline of troop withdrawal met; it will now be easy both for Pakistan and the United States to bring them on the table of negotiations with the Afghan Government and move towards the final settlement that indeed must see the Taliban becoming part of the country’s political process. These talks will not be easy but both sides will have to demonstrate greater flexibility to move forward for the sake of their country’s peace and stability. Since the local Afghans have suffered immensely as a result of this prolonged conflict, the US should not forget the Afghans after drawdown and must continue to support the country in terms of its reconstruction and development of necessary infrastructure that for sure will guarantee long-term peace and stability in the country.

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