The Taliban has warned the new US administration that abandoning the February 2020 deal “will lead to a dangerous escalation” in the Afghan war.

The warning came two days after a US congressional panel recommended President Joe Biden to extend the May 1 deadline set in the agreement with the Taliban for pulling out all American forces from Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Study Group, in the meanwhile, called in its report released on Wednesday for strictly linking further US troops pull out to a reduction in violence and progress in the ongoing intra-Afghan peace talks.

The study warned that removing all American and NATO forces by the deadline could lead to a civil war that could destabilise the region and revive the al-Qaida.

In a commentary published on its official website in response to the US report, the Taliban rejected charges that it had failed on its commitments outlined in the deal. 

“If the Doha agreement is abrogated, it will lead to a major war, the responsibility of which shall fall squarely on the shoulders of America,” it warned.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon spokesperson said Washington will continue to support Afghan peace process.

The Taliban advised the Biden administration not to treat the deal in an “emotional manner” and instead “end further investments in the continuation of [Afghan] war, warlords and corrupt individuals.”

“Therefore, all must desist from provocative actions and rhetoric that could lead us all back to former war footing posture because such is neither in the interest of America nor in the interest of the Afghan people,” the Taliban commentary concluded.

Under the deal, the number of American forces in Afghanistan will be reduced to 2,500 from nearly 13,000 in return for reduction in violence and a negotiated settlement with Afghan rivals to end the long war.


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