The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

US withdrawal should be conditions-based

The decision of US president Donald Trump to withdraw more than half of American troops from Afghanistan on the basis of an agreement with Taliban for peace in the country provided a hot debate throughout the country. From the common citizens to the high-ranking authorities, analysts, media and even at the international level there are discussion about its probable implications.
But in an exclusive interview with a local TV channel, TOLO news, on Thursday night, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said he requested a reduction in the number of US troops in Afghanistan in a letter to President Donald Trump seven months ago but reiterated that a decrease in number forces will be conditions-based.  
President Ghani says that withdrawal of part of US forces from Afghanistan as part of a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban will not impact the lives of Afghans who have reached to the point that peace is their basic need. 
“The number of troops has not been mentioned in the bilateral agreement [between Afghanistan and the US] and in multilateral agreement with NATO… Reduction or increase in the number of troops is conditions-based,” he said.  
In response to a question that 5,000 troops will leave the country in 135 days from five bases in Afghanistan, the president said discussions are ongoing in this regard.  “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he added. 
The current values and achievements that have come about were the product of tens of years of bellicose struggle that the Afghan people paid heavy cost to earn. It is very clear that the Taliban group is not content with anything, but the closure of the human values enshrined in the current constitution of Afghanistan.
Therefore, the only way for the people and the current government of Afghanistan is to stand against the illegitimate demands of the Taliban and to prevent from returning to the black era. We should not go back to the past under any circumstances and never submit everything to the Taliban. This is the only legitimate and humanitarian demand of all the people of Afghanistan articulate in unison, “We will not go back to the past.”
Meanwhile President Ghani during the interview said the Afghan government will appear from a strong position in negotiations with the Taliban.  “We will meet the Taliban with dignity, power, and strength and will hold serious negotiations with them,” he reiterated. 
“If the US president wants to withdraw, it is their national decision. My national decision is to maintain Afghanistan’s republic [government],” the president said. 
Clear picture about future of Afghanistan will emerge only after Doha talks as many critical and important issues are being discussed and finalized. The Taliban need to accept demand of entering into talks with the Afghan government which they have resisted so far.
Meanwhile US forces withdrawal should be conditions-based. The withdrawal shouldn’t be such a way to prepare the ground for increasing militancy and bloodshed in the country. The US and its allies are required to guarantee the peace process and ease the intra-Afghan talks.
The brave Afghan forces have shown their capabilities in war on terror and would spare no efforts to bring peace and stability in the war-torn country. But the international community should keep sustainable support to the forces, so that to defeat the international terrorists and bring about a safe and sound environment for the country and the whole region.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.