Monday, December 11, 2023

Pentagon Chief sudden visit to Kabul to meet Afghan President

Biden’s administration said last week that it would be difficult for the United States to meet a deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. US is trying to make new deals about Afghanistan and re-bond alliances in Asian region because some weeks after US has to withdraw its last troops under a last year deal with the Taliban. For this purpose, US officials have visited several Asian countries. Pentagon chief Mr. Lloyd Austin came to Kabul on sudden visit and met Afghan President Mr. Ashraf Ghani on his Afghan trip.

Mr. Austin is a retired four-star general having lot of experience. He has spent much time in Afghanistan as commander of the 10th Mountain Division. He was also the head of US central command for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Austin tweeted, “I’m very grateful for my time with President @ashrafghani today. I came to Afghanistan to listen and learn. This visit has been very helpful for me, and it will inform my participation in the review we are undergoing here with @POTUS.”

The US Secretary of Defense and his entourage flew to Afghanistan in American painted planes instead of military planes. The details of his visit kept secret.

Austin said, “Senior US officials wanted to end the Afghan conflict responsibly and transition to ‘something else’”. Both countries condemned the escalation of violence in Afghanistan. I think a lot of energy will be put into what is needed to bring about a responsible ending and finish negotiations in the war.”

When media was trying to ask any comment about meeting with President Ghani, he only said, “This is all my Boss’s domain”.

US concerns and plans for Afghanistan

In a sharp letter to President Ghani Anthony Blinken warned if US and NATO forces withdrew, Talibans would likely gain territorial gains in Afghanistan quickly. Washington has also submitted an eight-page peace proposal to the both parties to steer their country towards constitutional reform and elections. But Mr. Ghani rejected it by saying, “elections alone were acceptable to bring about a change in government”.

NATO chief said, “US and Kabul are calling for reduction in violence leading to a ceasefire but Taliban have failed to fulfill their part of a peace deal. He will only leave the alliance on right time.”

Taliban response on visit of Pentagon Chief

Taliban warned that. “if US failed to meet deadlines, it’ll reap all consequences. If US troops remained in Afghanistan after May 1, it’ll consider as violation of deal from US side,” Suhail Shaheen.

Taliban also says ceasefire is a part of the peace talks. Despite the increase in general attacks, rebel movements have not attacked US or NATO forces since the agreement has signed.

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