'Is This the Taliban-US Honeymoon?' CNN Interview Triggers Questions 

Published June 24th, 2021 - 09:24 GMT
US and Taliban agreement
The US Taliban peace deal was signed in Doha on the 29th of February 2020. (Shutterstock: Innovative Creation)

More than a year since the US and Taliban signed the peace agreement in Doha in February 2020, Afghanistan seems to be more and more at risk of falling back under the Taliban rule, sources say.

20 years after the US invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US seems to be taking a different approach against the Taliban, especially after the US has begun its military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Even though the US's longest war that aimed to topple the Taliban government after the US had labeled it as a terrorist group, the US's increasingly softening stance on the group since February 2020 can potentially grant the Islamist group a chance to take over the whole country again.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal has reported intelligence reports expressing fears that all of Afghanistan "might fall back under Taliban control in no more than six months", pointing at its growing military force across the country.

 

This comes days after UN reports warned that the "Taliban has successfully spread its control over 50 of Afghanistan’s 370 districts." This comes as a result of more than 30 bloody attacks the group has launched against Afghan targets since the beginning of 2021, killing at least 170 people, which has been perceived as a highly dangerous development threatening the safety of the 38 million Afghans residing in the country.

Such developments have been greatly attributed to the US softening policies towards the Islamist group that had imposed strict rules on the Afghan society throughout the 1990s, banning women from receiving education and enforcing religious ideologies on the country's population.

Criticism of the US policy towards Taliban in Afghanistan, which had started during the Donald Trump administration during 2020 and continues with policies of the current Joe Biden administration has also targeted US media coverage of news related to Taliban.

Earlier this week, CNN's Fareed Zakaria hosted the Doha-based spokesperson of Taliban Suhail Shaheen on his show GPS, to "discuss the future of Afghanistan," which has been perceived by online people as an attempt to re-introduce the Taliban to the world, without referring to them as terrorists.


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