Taliban will ‘make necessary decisions’ if US delays pullout

Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar said the Doha agreement with US has been “positive so far”, but if Washington does not pullout troops on schedule, the militant group “will make the necessary decisions”.

In an interview on Sunday, he said that the agreement entails the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in a 14-month timetable.

“The results of implementation of the Doha agreement with the US have been positive so far. In the first stage, the US announced it has evacuated five military bases, and the number of American troops has been reduced to 8,600, as this process continues.

“However, if the foreign forces do not leave Afghanistan on schedule, the Islamic Emirate will make the necessary decisions,” TOLO News quoted Baradar as saying in the interview.

He underlined that there was no hidden agreement between the group and the US.

He also urged the Kabul government to release the Taliban prisoners to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.

“The release of all 5,000 Taliban prisoners is the precondition for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” he stated.

Under the US-Taliban peace deal, the Taliban demanded the release of 5,000 inmates, and the Afghan government has so far released 4,245.

In exchange, the Taliban has released over 860 government hostages, out of 1,000 total mentioned in agreement.