Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Peace with Taliban before April Vote to be Ideal: Khalilzad

Peace with Taliban  before April Vote to be  Ideal: Khalilzad

KABUL - Speaking during PBS News Hour the envoy said: “Ideally, of course, it would be good to have an agreement with the Taliban first, and then have the presidential election, because then the Taliban will also participate in a possible election, or whatever roadmap the Afghans agree to.”
Khalilzad said everyone would like to see the war in Afghanistan end, that there be reconciliation and peace among the warring factions.
“But we want a peace that is worthy of the sacrifices that have been made for the past 17 years, meaning especially that Afghanistan does not become a platform for international terrorists against the United States,” he believed.
“So, yes, we are in a hurry to end the Afghan tragedy. The Afghan people deserve peace. They have been at war for 40 years. We are in a hurry, but we are realistic also,” he said.
Khalilzad believed the warring factions, including the Taliban, were of the view that they could not win the war and the Afghan government wanted a political settlement.
“We say we want a political settlement. We lead the international forces that are in Afghanistan.So, given that, this may be a moment of opportunity,” he remarked.
Referring to US goals in Afghanistan, he said staying in Afghanistan militarily was not an end in itself for the US.
“Our objective has been the preclusion of use of Afghan territory by terrorists against us. So if we can be satisfied that we can handle the terrorist threat with less force — ultimately, of course, we want an Afghanistan that is sovereign, self-reliant, with no foreign forces on it.”
When asked about Pakistan’s unchanged behavior despite pressures, Khalilzad added: “We want to assure them — and I have engaged them that we are not seeking an Afghanistan as the result of a political settlement that’s hostile to them.”
“We want Afghanistan to be at peace with itself, but also at peace with the neighborhood, and at peace with us in terms of the terrorism threat,” he said. (Pajhwok)