Faizel Patel – 27/07/2021
An Afghan journalist says countries neighbouring Afghanistan have indicated that they do not want the Taliban to come back into power.
Ali Latifi was speaking to Radio Islam on Tuesday following the US’ decision to withdraw troops from that country.
The withdrawal of US troops has resulted in the resurgent Taliban taking more territory in the last two months than at anytime since they were ousted from power in 2001.
The Taliban leadership has reiterated that they want a “political settlement” to the Afghan conflict, but the swift military gains made by the group has alarmed experts and residents, who say they intend to capture power militarily.
Latifi says Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries including Pakistan and Iran have not voiced enough opposition to the Taliban taking swathes of territory in the region or returning to power.
“Although both countries say they don’t want the Taliban back in power, but what we’ve seen is that the Taliban over the last few years gone on these diplomatic missions to all the neighbouring countries and around the region and basically tried to legitimize themselves and foster goodwill.”
Latifi says while sources indicate that the Taliban will be more successful going forward as the group has adjusted its strategy, the Afghan government is also fighting back.
“As much as we hear that districts are falling to the Taliban, we also hear reports that they are being taken back by the government. So the problem right now is that it’s very much a back and forth, a district will fall and it will be retaken, could fall again or somewhere next to it can fall and this is obviously unsustainable, this has been something that has been happening for years.”
Latifi says while the Taliban have claimed they have changed and are willing to accept certain terms and conditions, the situation on the ground tells a different story.
Listen to the interview with Ali Latifi