The US and Taliban on Saturday finalised the peace deal after months of negotiation, to officially end America’s longest war in Afghanistan, that began in 2001 in the wake of 9/11 terror attacks masterminded by former Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.
The historic agreement was signed in presence of officials from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Here are the main highlights of the US-Taliban Peace Deal:
- The US will reduce the strength of military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600, as per Afghanistan-based news outlet Tolo News.
- The US has also vowed to enforce other commitments made in the deal within 135 days from the announcement of the joint declaration.
- The US and its coalition allies will completely withdraw their forces from five military bases in Afghanistan.
- The US will now start to work on a plan to expeditiously release all political and combat prisoners. Up to 5,000 prisoners of the Taliban will be released as part of the deal by March 10.
- With the signing of the deal, the US will also review its sanctions on members of the Taliban.
- The US will now have to seek Afghanistan’s consent before carrying out military operations in the country. However, the US has also reaffirmed its readiness to conduct military operations in the country, as per Tolo News.
- As per the joint declaration, the US and Afghanistan will collaborate to disrupt efforts by Al-Qaeda, ISIS-K and other terror groups.
- Further, the Taliban has been asked to refrain from carrying out any attacks in the country lest the deal collapses. “Today all the Taliban fighters are ordered to refrain from any kind of attack ... for the happiness of the nation,” Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban was quoted as saying by Reuters.