The Taliban is “uneven” in its compliance with the Afghanistan reconciliation deal by refraining from attacking US troops, but engaging in a very high level of violence against local government forces, US Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense David Helvey said in a congressional hearing on Thursday.
“Taliban’s compliance with the agreement has been uneven over time. They did comply with their agreement not to conduct attacks against the US or coalition forces following the signing of the agreement… Their violence against the Afghan forces and the Afghan people remains very high throughout this period,” Helvey told the US Senate Armed Services Committee.
The US-Taliban agreement last year provides for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban abating violence and guaranteeing that the country will not turn into a safe haven for terrorists.
Helvey said that the Taliban has also lived up to its commitment to enter into reconciliation talks with the Afghan government.
“With respect to the entering into the inter-Afghan negotiations, they did do that. Last September, they began discussions with the Afghan government on future peace arrangements. Those discussions have not been fruitful,” he said.
The US government is in the process of an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan and has said it plans to have all its forces out of the country by September.