Bolton blames Pak for Taliban’s return

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Former NSA says Islamabad has been supporting the Taliban and providing them safe havens in Pakistan in the past two decades, reports Asian Lite News

Former National Security Advisor (NSA) John Bolton said that Pakistan is directly responsible for the Taliban’s return to power.

He blamed Islamabad for supporting the Taliban and providing them safe havens in Pakistan during the past two decades.

“Parts of the Pakistani government are directly responsible for the Taliban’s return to power,” Bolton said in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA).

Pakistan’s intelligence and other internal circles have been in contact with the Taliban for decades, Bolton added.

As the deadline for the evacuation of the US troops approaches and the Taliban has overrun numerous districts across Afghanistan, Bolton blamed Pakistan for being “a safe haven for the Taliban” and supporting them against the US and Afghan forces attacks. “I am concerned about the future consequences,” he said.

At the same time, Bolton warned Pakistan that “if the Taliban seizes power in Afghanistan, it will also be a threat to Pakistan as the terrorist pressure on the Pakistani government will increase”.

Bolton highlighted the proposal of senior US senator, Jim Inhofe, who is also the ranking member in the Senate Armed Services Committee, that at least a limited number of troops be left in Afghanistan.

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“The complete withdrawal of forces will weaken the morale of the Afghan government and army”, Bolton further added.

When asked about the meeting of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with his counterpart Joe Biden, he stated that “this trip will be the last opportunity for the Afghan government to try to encourage President Biden to gradually provide more time for other signs of continued US support if he does not alter his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.”

“The meeting is really important for the future of Afghanistan”, he emphasised.

Taliban

The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, accompanied by Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the High National Council for Reconciliation Chief; Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice President; Hamdullah Mohib, the National Security Advisor; Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Adela Raz, Afghan Representative in UN; Shahrzad Akbar, the head of Human Rights Commission; Fatima Gailani and Habiba Sarabi, the two female members of Afghanistan negotiating team, left for Washington this Wednesday, reported The Khaama Press.

Meanwhile, after the meeting between Joe Biden, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the White House on Friday announced a series of measures to provide assistance to Afghanistan amid troop withdrawal.

In a fact-sheet, the White House said: “Our strong support and partnership is designed to prevent Afghanistan from ever again being used as a safe haven for terrorism, maintain Afghan stability and build self-reliance, promote economic growth, preserve social gains in education, health and women’s empowerment and the rule of law, protect the rights of women, girls, and minorities, bolster Afghan civil society, and respond to humanitarian needs.” (ANI)

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