US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday warned that “distressingly high” level of violence in the country could threaten the peace process.
Khalilzad said this following a car bombing in western Ghor province that killed 14 people and wounded over a hundred.
“Continued high levels of violence can threaten the peace process and the agreement and the core understanding that there is no military solution,” Khalilzad said on Twitter. “Violence today remains distressingly high in spite of the recent reaffirmation of the need for substantial reduction.”
He said that the belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. “Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders,” he warned.
The envoy said that violence in Helmand has decreased, but it remains high overall in the country.
“We must adhere to the letter and spirit of what was negotiated and the recent understanding. They provide a path to minimizing Afghan loss of life and protecting an historic opportunity for peace which must not be missed,” Khalilzad said.
The Taliban on Sunday accused the United States of violating the Doha deal over airstrikes including in Helmand and warned of consequences if such strikes continue.
“Unfounded charges of violations and inflammatory rhetoric do not advance peace,” Khalilzad said.