Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Kabul: US President Barack Obama`s plan to retain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 hasn`t gone down well with the militant outfit Taliban, which has condemned the move, calling it a violation of “human rights” and has called for complete withdraw of US troops "now".
The Taliban on Wednesday issued a statement denouncing Obama`s post-2014 plan for US troops in Afghanistan, reported the AFP.
Referring to the war-torn South Asian country as “Afghanistan Islamic Emirate”, the Taliban stated that Obama`s decision to “keep around 10,000 troops until the end of 2016 and continue their occupation” is a “violation of sovereignty, religion and human rights”, the AFP quoted the militant group.
"The American leaders should do now what they plan to do two years later... If the Americans really want to free themselves from the Afghan war, they should completely withdraw their soldiers from Afghanistan," the statement added.
The Taliban`s condemnation comes just a day after Obama announced that 9,800 troops will remain in Afghanistan to train Afghan forces and assist in counter-terrorism efforts.
The militant group`s remarks also coincide with an attack on a US consulate vehicle in Afghanistan`s western city of Herat today, which injured two Americans.
Though the Taliban has not claimed responsibility for the attack, it seems to be the militant group`s response to Obama`s Afghan plan post-2014.
The attack in Herat came just five days after insurgents attacked an Indian mission there as President Hamid Karzai accepted Indian PM Narendra Modi`s invitation to attend his swearing-in ceremony.
The attacks show the country`s security situation in poor light even as most of the US troops prepare to leave the country by year-end.
In Afghanistan, currently more than 30, 000 US troops are stationed and post-2014, the Obama administration has planned to withdraw all but 9,800 US troops from Afghanistan, signalling an end to more than a dozen years of military involvement in the South Asian country that was sparked by 9/11 attacks.
Obama plans to retain almost one-third of the troops there and reduce it by half till the end of 2015.
US troops will then be confined to Kabul and on Bagram Airfield before drawing down to a normal Embassy presence by the end of 2016, as done in Iraq. The US troops in Afghanistan after 2014 will have their tasks cut out in form of two major missions – to train Afghan forces and to support counter-terrorism efforts.
But the troops` presence will still depend on the BSA agreement that current Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to sign, deferring the decision for his successor.
However, both the possible successors, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who face a runoff on June 14, have vowed to sign the BSA.