Haqqani Taliban Network actively sheltered Zawahiri in Kabul: US

Washington, Aug 18:  The US has said that it no longer believes the Taliban are capable of implementing the pledges they made in Doha while signing a peace agreement with American negotiators, the media reported.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that slain Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul “reinforces the idea that the Taliban heretofore has not been willing or able to comply with the commitments it’s made to its own people”, Dawn news reported

In February 2020, the US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in the Qatari capital to bring an end to the 2001�2021 war in Afghanistan.

The agreement ultimately led to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan on August 15, 2021.

“The fact that senior members of the Haqqani Taliban Network were witting off Ayman al Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul and actively sheltered him, that of course has featured into our thinking,” Dawn news quoted Price as saying.

“We’re still considering the implications of that”.

At the State Department briefing, a journalist pointed out that on July 27, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West met a Taliban delegation in Tashkent.

Although by then, the US knew that Zawahiri was living in Kabul, under Taliban’s protection.

Price said that was the last face-to-face engagement that the US has had with the Taliban.

“You can understand, I think, the secrecy with which those impending plans were held within the US government. It’s not something that we discussed with the Taliban, of course, beforehand,” he added.

IANS

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