The United States Defence Secretary Mark Esper on May 5 reportedly said that Taliban were not living up to their commitments under an agreement signed earlier this year. The Taliban and Washington signed an agreement in February for reduced violence and a move toward talks with the Afghan government, however, attacks by the group have increased since then.
While speaking to international media reporters, Esper said that he doesn’t think Taliban were living up to their commitment. He also added that he believes that the Afghan government was also not living up to its commitment. The defence secretary said that the Taliban and Afghan government ‘both need to come together and make progress on the terms that are laid out’.
The Taliban-Afghan deal is under strain by a political deadlock. Progress on moving to negotiations between the militant group and the Afghanistan government has been delayed. According to an international media outlet, the militant group have already mounted more than 4,500 attacks in Afghanistan in the 45 days since signing the deal with the US.
Several independent officials tracking the group situation reportedly even said that the increase in attacks shows the insurgent group’s willful disregard of a pledge to reduce violence made as part of the accord signed in late February. Meanwhile, recently the US also urged the Taliban for reduction of violence and instead shift their focus to the global health crisis.
Earlier this month, US Special Forces Afghanistan (USFOR) spokesperson Col Sonny Leggett called out Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid a day after the report by Pentagon was released that noted spike in the attacks on America's Afghan allies even though, US Taliban had signed a peace deal in February. In a tweet, Leggett has said: “now is the time to stop”.
@Zabehulah_M33 You asked for clarity on Gen Miller’s calls for the Taliban to reduce violence. Let's clarify: The people of #Afghanistan want #peace. The world has asked the #Taliban to cease violence and focus on #COVID19. Now is the time to stop the violence. @suhailshaheen1 pic.twitter.com/9EUrUh67Bt— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) May 2, 2020