Zalmay asks Pakistan, Qatar, others to condemn Taliban’s fresh spring offensive

US Afghan peace envoy Khalilzad to reach Islamabad today

WASHINGTON: US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has condemned the Taliban’s announcement about spring offensive and asked Pakistan, Qatar and other nations to do the same.
In reaction to Taliban spring offensive “Al-Fatha”, Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted, “the Taliban’s spring offensive announcement is reckless. It is irresponsible to suggest that an increase in violence is warranted because the government announced a security plan. The Afghan people have clearly voiced their desire for peace.”
He stated, “through this announcement, Taliban leaders demonstrate their indifference to the demands of Afghans across the country. The call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts. If executed, it will only yield more suffering and thousands more causalities.”
“At a time when all Afghans should come together in talks to determine a common future, a call for fighting suggests the Taliban are stuck in the ways of the past. Many Talibs including fighters and some leaders oppose this announcement.”
“All Afghans should condemn this announcement. On behalf of the United States, I condemn this announcement of a spring offensive, and call on Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations that want peace in Afghanistan to do the same.”
He said, “the U.S. and our international partners will stand with Afghan security forces to continue our effort to end the war in Afghanistan, at the same time as we seek to bring parties to the table to negotiate peace.”
“The killing of Afghans must stop. All sides must end unnecessary violence, and instead engage in Intra-Afghan dialogue which leads to negotiations on a political settlement and a roadmap to end the war this year. Afghan people want peace, and the US stands with them,” he concluded.


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