Taliban leader criticizes United States
Photo: Afghanistan national TV

Mullah Baradar: The US is not allowing the world to engage with Taliban

Speaking at a gathering in Kabul on Wednesday to commemorate the third anniversary of the US-Taliban Doha agreement, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy prime minister, criticised the US for not allowing the world to engage with the group.

The US and the Taliban, after nearly two years of direct negotiations, signed the Doha Deal in Qatar on 29 February 2020, in which the US agreed to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.

Mullah Baradar, who negotiated and signed the agreement on behalf of the Taliban, said the day was “important and valuable” in ending the US and allies’ 20 year military engagement in Afghanistan.

Baradar is quoted by the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency as saying, “America has illegally blocked Afghanistan’s assets, kept the leaders of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) blacklisted, and does not allow the world to engage with Afghans either.”

The Taliban’s minister of minerals and petroleum, Maulvi Shahabuddin Delawar, told the gathering that “the Doha Deal was a victory for the Muslim world.”

The US negotiator of the Doha Deal, Zalmay Khalilzad, told the BBC that the deal had “limited” impact on the fall of the Afghan government. He blamed Afghan leaders, especially, the then president, Ashraf Ghani, for the collapse. The Taliban, he said, had been willing to form a coalition government two days before the fall of Kabul.