As US President Joe Biden took office earlier this week, the Pakistani government urged him to abide by his predecessor’s peace deal with the Taliban that promises an end to the 20-year-long conflict that has killed, directly or indirectly, hundreds of thousands of people.
The newly minted Biden administration has said it will review the prior Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban militant group to assess whether the Taliban is holding to the terms of the February 2020 agreement.
The deal, agreed upon after months of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, was signed between the US and the Taliban and did not include the US-backed Afghan government in Kabul. It stipulated that if the Taliban ceased its attacks on US forces and pledged to renounce terrorism, the US would steadily withdraw its roughly 13,000 troops from the country.
Last week, the Pentagon announced those troop levels were now at just 2,500 and that all remaining US troops are expected to leave the Central Asian country by May. However, as the Taliban and Kabul government have yet to reach an accord, military exchanges have continued and the US has performed several airstrikes that have hit Taliban positions, prompting outcry from the Taliban.
Negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government, which the Taliban regards as a puppet of Washington, began in September but have been slow-going. Only in December did they reach an accord on how to begin the peace talks themselves, which began in…