Trump Says He Could Destroy Afghanistan. Some Afghans Call It ‘Madness.’

Trump Says He Could Destroy Afghanistan. Some Afghans Call It ‘Madness.’


The seventh round of peace talks, in Doha, Qatar, was suspended July 9 to allow officials to consult with their leaderships. Mr. Khalilzad has said that the Taliban and the United States had agreed to a framework in which the militants would not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan soil and the United States would begin a phased withdrawal of its 14,000 troops in the country.

Any final deal would also include direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government and a comprehensive cease-fire, Mr. Khalilzad has said. The Taliban has refused to negotiate with the government in Kabul, calling it illegitimate.

Separately, an Afghan delegation — which included government officials acting as private citizens — held two days of informal talks in Doha with the Taliban and issued a statement July 9 promising to work to reduce civilian casualties.

Abdul Latif Pedram, an Afghan presidential candidate who is opposed to the Taliban and who has met informally with Taliban officials, accused Mr. Trump of “shameless arrogance.” In a statement, Mr. Pedram called on the United States to withdraw its troops and for Afghans to fight Americans “until the withdrawal of your very last soldier.”

Addressing Mr. Trump, Mr. Pedram added, “Many occupiers have tried to capture this country, but they found only a graveyard. This country will be your graveyard.”

On the street and on social media, ordinary Afghans responded with a mix of fury and bewilderment.

“He is not a sane person,” Khan Ali, 35, a street vendor, said of Mr. Trump.

Mohammad Arif, 50, a shoemaker, said of the president’s comments: “This is in no way possible. Trump has a kind of madness.”

On Facebook, Zakir Jalali wrote, “So the fight against terrorism was just a joke?”

Another Facebook user, Masoud Hemayat, posted, “Until there is only a single American in Afghanistan, we will not see a happy day in our country.”



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