Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Rocket blast at US Embassy in Kabul on 9-11 anniversary

Blast heard near U.S. Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary Blast heard near US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary
Patty Aguilar | 11 September, 2019, 04:39

It would be the first major attack in the Afghan capital since President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taleban talks over the weekend, on the brink of an apparent deal to end America's longest war. The number of local Afghans killed is imprecise but is estimated to be closer to 1,00,000. In exchange, the Taliban would have had to agree not to allow Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorist groups which threaten the security of the U.S. It may be recalled that this venue outside the United States capital hosted the historic 1978 secret peace accord between Egypt and Israel. He said he changed his mind after a Taliban auto bombing in Kabul on Thursday killed 12 people, including a USA service member.

A US-led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taleban, who had harboured Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader and attacks mastermind. A tentative peace deal would have seen the United States withdraw 4,500 troops from the country within 20 weeks, in return for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would never again be used as a base for terrorism. Very soon, precious human lives and considerable wealth were expended with little accountability or reasonably well-defined politico-military objectives.

While there is palpable relief globally (barring in Pakistan) at the US-Taliban deal being aborted at the last minute, the ostensible reason for this decision - the death of one US soldier - is unconvincing when thousands have already died in this war.

'I do not see the place these negotiations go.

Why, then, was this deal with the Taliban called off at the last minute?

Despite a fiercely pro-Israeli foreign policy and the presence of hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton in his Cabinet, he has so far resisted escalating the military standoff with longtime foe Iran.

There was additionally widespread consternation on the characteristically unpredictable method of Trump's negotiating model.

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Hong Kong protesters boo Chinese anthem, leader warns against interference
His prosecution came after his release from prison in June following a two-month sentence related to the 2014 protests. The weekend unrest signaled that protests against Beijing's increasing grip over Hong Kong showed no sign of stopping.

About an hour later the all-clear announcement was made, with no reports of injuries.

An abiding and sustainable peace agreement has remained elusive in Afghanistan and this is a reflection of the deep fault-lines in a predominantly tribal society that has been ravaged by great power rivalry, regional perfidy and internal ethno-linguistic fissures. The group's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said to AFP, "We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations".

This marked the beginning of the political endorsement of jihadi violence that later morphed into terrorism.

The anniversary ceremonies remember the almost 3,000 people who were killed when hijacked planes struck the trade center in NY, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.

Taliban and USA negotiators have been trying for a peace settlement for months, which would result in a total withdrawal of US forces from the Middle Eastern nation, where they've been since late 2001.

Tadamichi Yamamoto, the special representative of the secretary general for Afghanistan, described the election as "another step in strengthening the foundation of a representative democratic political system" in the country.

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