The Taliban said in a statement marking the first anniversary of the Doha Agreement that the agreement had paved the way for security and stability in Afghanistan.
The Taliban said that if any other alternative to the agreement is sought, “it will doom to failure.”
The Taliban urged the US to live up to its commitments to the Doha agreement. The Taliban once again demanded the release of their remaining prisoners and the removal of their names from the UN blacklist and said it would speed up intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
The Taliban said that they have fulfilled their commitments to the agreement, blaming “the other side” for violating the agreement and said the US has continued to bombings and operations.
On February 29, 2020, US and Taliban representatives gathered in Doha, Qatar, to sign an agreement that would allow for the withdrawal of American troops in exchange for concessions by the group.
The concessions included opening peace talks with the government in Kabul and broken tie with terrorist groups like al-Qaida from using the country to launch attacks on America and its allies.
The US President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing the deal with the Taliban as policymakers calling for a renegotiation of the agreement ahead of a May 1 deadline to pull all troops from the country.
Some 2,500 US troops remain in Afghanistan at about a dozen bases, alongside about 10,000 NATO troops.
AL-QAEDA TIES: Amidst doubts in the Taliban’s commitment to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the Taliban last week has asked its members to avoid harbouring foreign fighters and not allow them to join their ranks.
“All heads and mujahedeen are directed to avoid arbitrary move to bring in foreign nationals into their ranks or harbour them,” the Taliban said in a statement.
The group warns its fighters that anyone who makes such an attempt will be removed from their assignments, their group will be dissolved, “and will be referred to the military affairs commission for further punishment.”
The Taliban has been under criticism by Afghan and US officials for keeping their ties with terrorist groups, particularly al-Qaeda. The Taliban has rejected the allegations.
However, UN “believes that the top leadership of al-Qaeda is still under Taliban protection,” said UN official Edmund Fitton-Brown.
According to the UN monitoring team’s report in January, there are 200 to 500 al-Qaeda fighters across about 11 Afghan provinces.
The Taliban has committed in the Doha agreement to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The group has also vowed to reduce violence. However, Afghan and US officials have said that violence remains “too high” in the country despite the ongoing efforts for peace.