Taliban writes open letter addressed to Americans against Donald Trump

Pakistan's army chief joins conference in Afghan capital

Notwithstanding the hundreds of billions in USA taxpayer funds devoted to the war in addition to the more than 2,260 American military fatalities and almost 20,290 injuries, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the "highest concentration" of terrorist groups in the world, the Pentagon has repeatedly stressed.

The letter also urged the Amricans to put pressure on Trump to change war policy against Afghanistan.

Nicholson said due to continued growth of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), the Taliban failed to achieve a single stated battlefield objective previous year, according to a statement from the RS mission.

The Taliban, fighting to oust foreign forces and defeat the US -backed government, said the United States must end its "occupation" and accept the Taliban right to form a government "consistent with the beliefs of our people".

The attacks, including a suicide auto bombing, targeted the Intercontinental hotel in the Afghan capital and the city's old interior ministry building, killing around 140 people, mostly civilians. They claimed both attacks.

The letter, sent under the banner of "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", was issued just weeks after a blitz of deadly insurgent attacks in the Afghan capital that have left the government struggling to cope with increased public anxiety and anger.

Captain Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement the event "afforded leaders the opportunity to meet in person and identify opportunities to protect and promote common interests, specifically pertaining to securing a lasting peace for Afghanistan and stability for the region".

But low-level contacts between the government, global groups including the United Nations and groups close to the Taliban have continued even as the insurgency has escalated.

Progress in preliminary talks has been obstructed by the deep mistrust between the government and the Taliban, as well as an ambiguity about the position of neighbors including Pakistan, which Afghanistan has long accused of aiding the insurgents.

In the wake of an ambulance bombing at the end of January, an American official, referring to Trump's statement said, "We don't want peace talks with the Taliban", saying the attacks proved the Taliban were not ready to negotiate in good faith. "It may be a case of the Taliban trying to earn some legitimacy and goodwill by playing the role of good guy and proposing nonviolent solutions", said Michael Kugelman, a senior analyst for South Asia at the Wilson Center, in Washington.

The COAS assured the defence officials in attendance that Pakistan does not allow its territory to be used against any other country and "expects the same in reciprocity".

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