Learn from past mistakes; make a political deal: Khalilzad to Afghans

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KABUL: The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday said the Afghan peace process had arrived at a critical and hopeful stage.


Extending congratulations to Afghans on 101st Independence Day, he wrote on his Twitter handle that this year’s celebrations took place as efforts to end the 40-year war were, despite serious challenges, at a hopeful stage.


“Afghan leaders from all sides will have to rise to the occasion, put their country first, learn from past mistakes and reach a political agreement,” the envoy stressed.


On the other hand, a report by the US Department of Defense (DoD) reveals some unexpected updates in terms of violence in Afghanistan.


DoD Inspector General admitted a spike in violence against Afghan security forces since the signing of the US-Taliban peace pact, adding the Taliban did not appear to honor their vow to cut links with terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.


However, the DoD report stated that over the past three months, the Taliban had not carried out even a single attack on US or coalition forces in Afghanistan.


The fall in violence saw an 80 percent decrease in airstrikes by US and coalition forces during the period, the report said.


Task & Purpose reported UN and American officials both held the Taliban culpable for continuing to support al-Qaeda against the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).