Many Afghans believe that the United States is putting them at the mercy of hardline Islamist Taliban insurgents after President Joe Biden’s announcement that U.S. troops will leave the country by Sept. 11.
The withdrawal date was pushed back four months from the May 1 deadline agreed to between the Washington and the insurgents last year – but, this time, there have been no conditions attached to the pullout.
“International forces’ intervention was like a light in a dark night,” Amina, 32, a teacher at a girls school in the northern province of Kunduz, told Reuters.
Amina, who was a child when U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001, feels Washington should not leave without making the Taliban agree to accept the changes that have occurred in the country over the past two decades.
Washington is pressing for a settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban at a conference in Turkey next week, where they hope to reach an agreement on a ceasefire and a power-sharing interim government.
The Taliban announced a boycott of the event in reaction to Washington’s announcement that foreign troops would stay beyond May 1.