Us withdrawal from Afghanistan 

President Trump while in office announced that he will withdraw US forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible. His special envoy to the region, Mr. Zami Khalizad started preparing grounds for the US forces to leave Afghanistan. He met with the Pakistani leadership to seek their help and facilitation in the talks with the Taliban. The US had realized that without involving Pakistan, it would be impossible to get out of the quagmire they were in. The back and forth meetings between the Taliban leadership, the FM of Pakistan, and the US envoy started rolling and they finally met in Doha, Qatar to strike a deal that would ensure the peaceful withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. This deal and the announcement by the US were welcomed by everyone except a few who have selfish motives associated with the presence of the US and the lack of peace in the region. Unfortunately, last week the newly elected president of the US, Mr. Joe Biden said that it might be difficult to withdraw all the forces from Afghanistan by the mutually agreed date of May 01, 2021. While this would make those happy who benefit from the conflict in this region, the rest of the world has reacted strongly to this assertion by the US president. There have been severe reactions from Russia and China and the Taliban spokesperson has announced that if the US does not honor its commitment to leave Afghanistan, peace cannot be guaranteed. This development is worrisome for the entire world but more so for Pakistan as it suffers directly and immensely from the conflict in Afghanistan. I wonder if the US, the self-proclaimed leader of the free world, is indeed serious in peace around the world. It seems the US leadership is willing to put peace at stake to preserve self-image and political rhetoric at home.

Raja Shafatullah 

Islamabad 

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