The US and NATO forces are leaving Afghanistan but the US is not leaving the country and will remain engaged while supporting the peace process, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Friday.
“Forces are leaving but the US is not leaving Afghanistan. America will remain engaged. It will support the peace process and security forces of Afghanistan until peace is achieved,” Khalilzad said answering queries at a press conference here.
He was asked about Afghanistan’s allegation that Pakistan Air Force is supporting the Taliban.\Khalilzad said a lot has been achieved over in the last 20 years. “First of all, Afganistan itself is a very changed place as compared to the past years. Institutions that did not exist earlier exist in the country whether it is institutions of forces, politics, civil society and free press,” he said.
The envoy said that the Taliban have an agreement not to allow territory they control against the US and its allies by terrorists.
“There is an agreement between US and Taliban that did not exist then, that commits Taliban not to allow the territory that they (Taliban) control, and if they became for the future government, for them to prevent not to allow the territory of Afghanistan to be used against the US and its allies by terrorists,” he said.
“What we are trying to do now is to get the Afghans close agreement and then there will be a consensus regionally and beyond in support of an outcome,” he added.
Afghan first Vice President Amrullah Saleh had on Thursday offered to provide evidence to prove that Pakistan is giving air support to the Taliban and has threatened to hit back if Afghan forces try to retake the Spin Boldak border area.
Hours after issuing a shocking statement claiming Pakistan is providing support to the Taliban, Saleh said Afghan aircraft have been warned by Pakistan to back off or face air to air missiles.
Taliban has claimed that they have seized the border town as part of an offensive across the war-torn country. Local media on Wednesday reported that the Taliban have captured the main border crossing with Pakistan in southern Kandahar province. (ANI)