US House panel issues subpoena to Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad over failure of US-Taliban peace process

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Washington DC, Sep 13: The US House Foreign Affairs Committee has issued a subpoena to Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, on Thursday, asking him to confront the council next week over the failure of Afghan Peace Process with the insurgent group, Taliban, aimed at putting an end to 18-year-long war and crisis in Afghanistan.

“For months, we haven’t been able to get answers on the Afghanistan peace plan, and now the president is saying the plan is dead,” Representative Eliot Engel, Democrat chairman of the committee, said in an official statement, according to Reuters.

Engel said the US department of state had in February and April ignored request for Khalilzad to appear to the panel.

“We need to hear directly from the administration’s point person on Afghanistan to understand how this process went off the rails,” Engel said. “We are not going to just sit back and be quiet. We will make a lot of noise about it,” Engel had told reporters earlier in the week.

The Taliban has on Sunday condemned United States President Donald Trump’s announcement of the suspension of ongoing peace negotiations with the insurgent group to put an end to 18-year-long civil war and crisis in Afghanistan and termed Trump’s decision as an “anti-peace” move.

According to Al-Jazeera, the Taliban, in a statement on Sunday, said: “Now that US President Trump has announced the suspension of negotiations … this would not harm anyone else but the Americans themselves.”

On Saturday, Trump, in a series of tweets, confirmed he was calling off the secret negotiations, scheduled for Sunday with the group’s representatives and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at Maryland’s Camp David in the United States.

Trump, via tweets, has said he “called off” scheduled peace talks and “cancelled” a scheduled secret meeting with the group’s “major leaders”. He took this decision post Taliban declaration it was behind a terror attack in Afghan capital Kabul that claimed the life of an American troop and other 11 people.

On Sunday, Taliban said Trump’s move would lead to a further loss of US assets and lives. “The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks,” a statement said.

 

Also Read: Americans will suffer : Taliban condemns Donald Trump’ suspension of Afghan Peace negotiations as ‘anti-peace’ move

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