HPC deputy chief told religious scholars that the surge in violence by the Taliban has led to an increase in foreign troops.
Taliban Insurgency Prolonging Foreign Troops Presence: HPC
Deputy Chief of the High Peace Council (HPC) Attaurrahman Saleem on Tuesday said that the ongoing Taliban insurgency was a key reason for the prolonged presence of US and other foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a gathering of religious scholars in Paktia province on Tuesday, Saleem pointed out that a large percentage of foreign forces had withdrawn from Afghanistan, but a surge in violence on the part of the Taliban in the past two years has led to an increase in foreign troops in the country.
“You remember the announcements made by (former) president (Barack) Obama over recent years; he clearly said that war is not the solution, but the solution is peace talks, because of that, the former US president ordered the drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan, but after the Obama decision, the war did not stop and instead the war got worse. I ask the Taliban why did they continue the war after the withdrawal of foreign forces; so the Taliban is responsible for this and the war has led to the arrival of more foreign troops,” said Saleem.
Meanwhile a number of scholars at the event said that there is no religious justification for the Taliban’s ongoing war in Afghanistan.
“The Holy Quran says that someone shouldn’t commit suicide or conduct explosions at religious gatherings and even at funeral processions; Islam has prohibited the shedding of blood of innocent people and the Taliban must be answerable to this,” added Saleem.
“The Taliban war is totally against the teachings of Islam and the Taliban must realize that by shedding the blood of the people, they are committing a major crime,” said Mawlawi Sher Ahmad, chairman of Khost religious scholars council.
“The Taliban by waging war and shedding the blood of people shows that they are not independent, ” said Paktia governor Shamim Katawazai.
Khost governor Shamim Katawazai meanwhile said that the Taliban’s ongoing war against the Afghan people indicates that the group takes orders from other countries.
“Despite these atrocities by the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan still open their arms to peace. People are hungry for peace not for blood,” added Katawazai.
Last month, President Ashraf Ghani put forward a peace offer to the Taliban during the second Kabul Process summit. However, the Taliban has not yet responded to the offer.
On Tuesday, meanwhile, Ghani met with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis to discuss the prospects of peace and other issues.
“I had the pleasure to meet with United States Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, at Gul Khana palace today. We discussed peace with the Taliban, comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan, upcoming elections, counter narcotics and issues pertaining to Afghan refugees in Pakistan,” said Ghani on Twitter.