Global News

Pakistan's army chief joins conference in Afghan capital

Pakistan's army chief joins conference in Afghan capital

Afghanistan has been ravaged by a series of deadly terrorist attacks during the last few days, particularly in Kabul, which killed almost 150 people and wounded hundreds more.

"Prolonging the war in Afghanistan and maintaining American troop presence is neither beneficial for America nor for anyone else", the document said, calling on US citizens, legislators and others to "read this letter prudently" and evaluate the costs and benefits of continuing to fight.

While insisting that "our preference is to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogues", the letter also warned that Taliban forces "cannot be subdued by sheer force" and that seeking a peaceful solution does not mean "that we are exhausted or our will has been sapped".

Meanwhile in Brussels, the US ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation called on Pakistan to "work with the United States, with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to stop the treacherous activities of the Taliban".

On Saturday, an ambulance-bomb attack in Afghanistan's capital city killed over 100 people and injured scores. They justified an earlier brutal attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul by claiming jihadists "only searched for foreign invaders and left our countrymen alone". A government spokesman declined to comment on the statement.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid released copies of the 10-page document in several languages, detailing what he claimed were Taliban gains and so-called failures of the "illegitimate" US -led intervention in Afghanistan, which is now in its 17th year.

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A spate of bombings last month in Kabul fueled anger against the Taliban across the country, and prompted the Trump administration to close the doors for peace talks with the Islamic insurgents.

Progress has been blocked by the deep mistrust between the government and the Taliban, as well as uncertainty about the role of neighbors including Pakistan, which Afghanistan has long accused of aiding the insurgents.

Pakistan's de facto finance minister, Miftah Ismail, told Reuters that the United States and Britain put forward the motion several weeks ago, and later persuaded France and Germany to co-sponsor it.

"Instead it will be relentless and persistent, as demonstrated by the 321 precision munitions we released this January against Taliban targets in the dead of winter, a time they typically rest and recuperate".

He also assured that Pakistani territory was not allowed to be used against any other country, adding that Pakistan expected the same in reciprocity.


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