THE TALIBAN sent an open letter to US President Donald Trump yesterday urging him to end the 16-year occupation of Afghanistan.
In the letter sent to journalists by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the guerilla fighters welcomed Mr Trump’s order of a review of US involvement in the country.
Earlier this month, government officials in Washington leaked details of a July meeting with top brass at which Mr Trump demanded to know why the US was losing the war.
“We have noticed that you have understood the errors of your predecessors and have resolved to thoroughly rethink your new strategy in Afghanistan,” said the group which held power in the country between 1996 and 2001.
Mr Trump criticised the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq before seeking the presidency.
The Taliban said Mr Trump should reverse his decision to delegate military policy in Afghanistan to Defence Secretary James Mattis — who has recommended sending 4,000 more troops into the fray — and instead announce the withdrawal of US forces.
“You must also not hand over the Afghan issue to warmongering generals, but must make a decision where history shall remember you as an advocate of peace.”
The letter said a US pullout would “truly deliver American troops from harm’s way” and bring about “an end to an inherited war.”
The letter included a long list of grievances against Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s US-backed government.
It also pointed to the formation of a opposition bloc in Turkey last month, including Uzbek warlord and former vice-president Rashid Dostum and Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammed Noor, a Tajik warlord.