Afghan Parliament Defense Committee Press Release
The National Assembly of Afghanistan Wolesi Jirga The Defense and Territorial Integrity Committee Press Release About the U.S. and NATO Forces Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Date: 05/17/2021 - (1400/2/27)
The U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal decision from Afghanistan has made the headlines and was accompanied by reactions from various political and social segments of Afghan society. In 2012, the United States and its allies signed a security agreement with the Afghan government to demonstrate their long-term commitment to a peaceful, stable Afghanistan and to ensure that the country doesn’t become a safe haven for terrorists again. The security agreement stipulates that the U.S. and NATO would support, train, and equip the ANDSF until the Afghan forces are prepared to take the full security responsibility of their country. While we believe in the capabilities, bravery, and sacrifices of the ANDSF to neutralize the security threats, the withdrawal of international forces under the current state of affairs and where the ANDSF stands is a matter of concern. Without assessing the security situation, such a withdrawal would prolong the war and negatively impact regional security, and particularly the peace process.
This committee respects the withdrawal decision. However, to secure peace and stability in Afghanistan, we state the following:
Just as the U.S. presence in Afghanistan was based on a mutual understanding between the Afghan government and the U.S.-led coalition and its mission was carried out responsibly, we maintain the same should be true about the withdrawal.
We respect the U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal; however, prior to withdrawal implementation, we expect that the US and NATO assess the security situation in Afghanistan based on the security agreement signed between the Afghan and US governments.
Given the vulnerability and fragility Afghanistan faces, the threat of terrorism remains to be an ongoing challenge. The ANDSF can cope with such threats. Therefore the international community, based on the commitments it has made with the Afghan government, should fully cooperate and support the ANDSF in the fight against terrorism.
We ask our international allies to continue to help ANDSF with training, intelligence, air support, equipment, and maintenance in a consistent manner.
Based on the U.S. and Taliban agreement, the Afghan government freed five thousand Taliban prisoners, but there is no guarantee that the released prisoners will not return to the battlefield. The Afghan people want the US to be committed to Afghanistan and pressure the Taliban to reduce violence.
We believe that the gains made over the last 20 years must be protected, especially women’s rights. The ANDSF can defend the hard-won gains, the territorial integrity of the country, and the Afghan people if it receives financial and technical aid from the U.S. and international allies.
We call on parties involved in the Afghan conflict to set aside their differences, come together to build a consensus, and get unified to work for long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.