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Will react if foreign troops remain in Afghanistan after deadline: Taliban spokesman

Will react if foreign troops remain in Afghanistan after deadline: Taliban spokesman
July 5, 2021

QATAR – Any foreign troops left in Afghanistan after NATO's September withdrawal deadline will be at risk as occupiers, the Taliban told the BBC.

Speaking to the BBC from the group's office in Qatar, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said seizing Kabul militarily was 'not Taliban policy'.

He said no foreign forces – including military contractors – should remain in the city after the withdrawal was complete. "If they leave behind their forces against the Doha agreement then in that case it will be the decision of our leadership how we proceed," Shaheen told the BBC.

"We would react and the final decision is with our leadership," he added.

Diplomats, NGOs and other foreign civilians would not be targeted by the Taliban, he insisted, and no ongoing protection force for them was needed. "We are against the foreign military forces, not diplomats, NGOs and workers and NGOs functioning and embassies functioning – that is something our people need. We will not pose any threat to them," he said.

Shaheen described last week's withdrawal from Bagram Airfield – once the largest US military base in Afghanistan - as a "historic moment".

The Taliban spokesman described the current government as 'moribund' and referred to the country as the 'Islamic emirate' – an indication that the group envisaged a theocratic basis for governing the country and were unlikely to agree to Afghan government demands for elections.

Shaheen said elections had so far not been raised in negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

تازہ ترین خبریں حاصل کرنے کے لیے فوری اطلاع کی اجازت دیں

آپ کسی بھی وقت دائیں طرف نیچے بیل آئیکن پر صرف ایک کلک کے ذریعے آسانی سے سبسکرائب کر سکتے ہیں۔