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Taliban rejects US' Afghan troop withdrawal plan

By Tahir Ali
February 14, 2013 03:04 IST

Mullah Omer-led Afghan Taliban have asked the United States and its allies to withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan instead of “troop reductions and gradual withdrawals” that will help the “foreign forces to avoid further humiliation”.

“The Taliban doesn’t agree with the gradual withdrawal and vows to continue their ‘holy jihad’ until a single foreign soldier stays over Afghan soil,” the statement came in the wake of reports that the White House plans to bring home about 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by February 2014 that will 50 percent cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan.

At the moment there are 66,000 US troops based in Afghanistan. “Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over”, US President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday.

In response the Afghan Taliban said in a statement, “Time has come for the American president Obama and other head of states of invading countries to understand the realities of this futile war and instead of tactical efforts, troop reductions and gradual withdrawals, focus on the conditions, calls and needs of its own people and immediately extract all its troops from our country”.

The statement further said, “Thousands of their soldiers were killed, maimed and mentally disabled; billions of dollars was spent; economies of involved invading countries faced decline; its own people were reduced to beggary and other such ills”.

According to Obama administration the reduction will continue step-by-step and by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.

A The Washington Post report stated that Pentagon officials are pushing to keep about 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan past 2014, arguing that some residual presence is needed to ensure that insurgent groups do not overwhelm the Afghan security forces. That remaining contingent would be drawn down by the end of 2016, with only a few hundred forces left behind and based out of the US embassy. “All special operations units would be out of the country by the end of 2016”, the report added.

However, Afghan Taliban vows to continue jihad against the US-led troops until a single foreign troop is present in Afghanistan. “The core solution to the Afghan problem rests at the complete end of its occupation. The Afghans should be granted control, choice of government and sovereignty of their country. If not such then our sacred Jihad will intensify and forge ahead successfully even if one foreign soldier is present in our country and this struggle will continue until the fulfillment of the aspirations of our people”, Taliban’s statement further read.


Tahir Ali