India and Iran Offer Military Support To Afghanistan, As US Troops Leave

Amid hopes for peace and future stability, every day there is an explosion or targeted assassination reported in Afghanistan and largely in the capital Kabul.

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
I am Omid Sobhani, Journalism Undergraduate student at Herat University, Western Afghanistan. I love to cover social, political, entertainment stories from Afghanistan.

AFGHANISTAN. Herat: According to a Donald Trump administration exit plan from Afghanistan, the surface of US military troops will cut from 4,500 to 2,500 by January 15, 2021. Despite peace talks get underway in the Gulf of Qatar, the violence continues to escalate in Afghanistan, plus a campaign of targeted killings in recent months, which spiked worries for Afghans over their future.

Amid hopes for peace and future stability, every day there is an explosion or targeted assassination reported in Afghanistan and largely in the capital Kabul. In an official visit of Jawad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister vowed military support for the Afghanistan government.

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In an interview with TOLO News, Jawad Zarif stated that Iran is prepared to help the Afghan government regroup fatemiyoun forces (Iran’s backed militia group consisted of Afghan refugees who fight in Syria) under the leadership of the Afghan National Army in the fight against terrorism.

Fatemiyoun, Iran’s suggested militia for Afghanistan security

When Zarif was asked if Iran backs the idea of Fatemiyoun forces being regrouped against Daesh (ISIS) inside Afghanistan, Zarif said,” It depends on the Afghan government’s decision. If so, they must fight in Afghanistan under the leadership of the Afghan government as all forces in Syria were fighting under the leadership of the Syrian government.”

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“In Afghanistan, we are prepared to support them under the leadership of the Afghan government”, added Zarif.

According to the US-Taliban deal, all foreign forces must leave Afghanistan by May 2021. For Afghans but, the troop’s drawdown would have to go in line with the progress in Intra-Afghan peace talks and reduction in violence.

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With the violence and targeted killings ranging across Afghanistan, the government mostly points a finger at the Taliban. Few of the two side member of the negotiations team still did not depart to Doha, which has severely been criticized by Afghan citizens. Eqbal, a citizen from Kabul said, ”The two sides must not sit in their homes to see people roll in blood, they must soon depart to Doha and sit on the negotiation table.”

Recently Golbeddin Hekmatyar, former Afghan warlord, who is the current leader of Hez-e-Islami of Afghanistan, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan Higher Peace Council, and very recently Abdul Karim Khalil, a prominent Afghan politician and a leader of the Shiite and Hazara community of Afghanistan, were separately invited by the Pakistan government.

India military support

While Pakistan invites senior Afghan politicians amid the second round of peace talks that began on January 5, India calls for military support for Afghanistan. In a phone call with the Afghan foreign minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, discussed peace and security in Afghanistan, with Mr. Jaishankar Prasad, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India.

Sources told ThePrint, an Indian newspaper, “The call with Indian officials is believed to have assured Kabul of greater military assistance in times to come when the US begins the process to bring down its troop presence to 2,500 by mid-January.

Office of the National Security of Afghanistan announced a delegation from New Delhi has arrived in Kabul for a two-day visit, adding that the two sides held extensive conversations on issues of strategic mutual interest, including on synchronizing efforts to combat terrorism and build peace.”

Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Afghan President, tweeted,” President Ghani met with the Indian National Security Advisor, Mr. Arji Doval at the Presidential Palace today. Both sides discussed the expansion of cooperation in countering terrorism between the two countries, and strengthening the two countries, and regional consensus on the Afghan peace process.” 

“The Afghan president also stressed that India and Afghanistan’s joint endeavors in collaboration with NATO and the US could achieve more success in the fight against terrorism.”

Interim government

Meanwhile, Zalmai Khalilzad, US special envoy for the peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, has made a trip to Kabul meeting only the Afghan politicians and ignoring to meet President Ghani. He had held a series of meetings with the senior Afghan politicians, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of Higher Peace Council of Afghanistan, and some other prominent Afghan politicians.

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