Taliban issue public letter urging the U.S. to begin peace talks in Afghanistan

Afghan Taliban [Image: Pakistan Today]

The Afghan Taliban have published an open letter stating their desire for peace talks and calling on the “American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to lobby the Donald Trump administration into negotiations, The Guardian reports.

The letter, which was released by Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, comes amid worsening conditions for Afghan and US coalition forces on the battlefield.

The US Government has continued its policy of refusing to talk directly with the Taliban and groups they deem as “terrorists”.

Similarly, the Taliban has refused to talk to the Afghan government without first discussing the withdrawal of NATO troops with the US.

The letter read: “If the policy of using force is continued for another one hundred years, the outcome will be the same…as you have observed over the last six months since the initiation of Trump’s new strategy”.

The 2,800-word letter attempts to persuade the American people that the war is unwinnable and it cites the “3,546 American and foreign soldiers” killed, an “87% rise” in heroin production in 2017, and the assessment of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar), the US’s own watchdog, of rising Taliban control on the ground.

The letter also refers to the “international community” now “backing our justified resistance”.

It also highlighted that “tens of billions of dollars” spent in Afghanistan that are “collected from you in tax and revenue”, are then given “to thieves and murderers”.

On Monday, the Taliban invited the libertarian senator Rand Paul for talks at their office in Qatar, after Mr Paul claimed the US’s projected $45bn (£32.5bn) spending in Afghanistan over 2018 amounted to money “thrown down a hatch”.

 

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