Senator Jack Reed said he favored seeking an extension of the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops that President Donald Trump and the Taliban negotiated last year, The New York Times reported.

American Senator Jack Reed has favored US troops’ withdrawal beyond the May deadline.

According to the New York Times, Jack said the US should look for an extension to give diplomats to negotiate an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“To pull out within several months now is a very challenging and destabilizing effort,” Jack said in a video conference organized by George Washington University.

He added his voice to a growing number of national security specialists, including those on a bipartisan, congressionally appointed panel, who argue, in essence, for abandoning the May 1 timetable.

“I would expect some extension,” Reed said, even if that ultimately meant more time for the United States to withdraw the 2,500 troops in the country now. 

He also underscored that a top American national security priority should be to prevent terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and Daesh, from using Afghanistan as a safe haven from which to carry out strikes.

He said that America’s top national security priority should include prevention of Afghanistan from being used as safe heaven by groups such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

“We’ve got to be able to assure the world and the American public that Afghanistan will not be a source of planning, plotting to project terrorist attacks around the globe,” he added, “that’s the minimum. I’m not sure we can do that without some presence there.” 

Early this week, Michael McCaul, a top US Republican, has said in an interview with CNN that President Biden needs to keep US troops in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from taking over.  

Michael McCaul, a Republican US representative was quoted by CNN saying “I think Afghanistan can be very important. I hope that the Biden administration I can work with them on this and talk to Secretary Blinken and the national security adviser about leaving a residual force there to protect the homeland and not allow the Taliban to take over their country,”.

This comes as a senior Pakistani military official on Thursday said that his country will never support the Taliban and that the Pakistan government’s main goals are for a prolonged peace in Afghanistan.

The director-general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said as quoted by International The News that “Afghanistan now is not what it was in the 90s and the state infrastructure cannot be trounced easily, and Pakistan also has changed,”.

Iftikhar added, “It’s impossible for the Taliban to recapture Kabul and that Pakistan would support them. It isn’t going to happen”.

“Even Afghan leaders are admitting that Pakistan has done utmost for peace in Afghanistan,” the ISPR director-general said.

He explained that Afghans and their government should determine the future of Afghanistan, the developments of peace talks, and who they back to take it on, he added “We only aim for a long-lasting peace in Afghanistan,”.

The policy of the Pakistan government to offer support in peace to its neighbors was clear, ISPR general indicated.

Author


  • The Khaama Press News Agency is the leading and largest English news service for Afghanistan with over 3 million hits a month. Independent authors/columnists and experts are welcome to contribute stories, opinions and editorials. Send stories to [email protected]