KABUL : The Taliban’s leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada said on Tuesday that the group is on the threshold of establishing a pure Islamic government and warned the United States and the international community to take the Doha-agreement seriously and stop creating further problems. In his Eid ul-Adha message, Hibatullah said that Our Jihad was and continues to be for ending the occupation and establishing a pure Islamic government, therefore, we reassure our Mujahid and persecuted nation that their aspirations will not be betrayed. Akhundzada said the Taliban had fulfilled its obligations regarding signing an agreement with the United States in Doha and efforts towards launching intra-Afghan negotiations but that it was now up to other parties to determine how they utilize this opportunity at hand. He pointed out that the prisoner release issue was key to building trust and shortening the path towards peace. He stated that although progress had been made with the US and its allies in terms of them have started to implement the Doha agreement by initiating the withdrawal of troops and handing over of five military bases, the US government must also not create obstacles for ending of the longest war in American history with unwarranted remarks and propaganda. He warned the US that it needs to properly execute its obligations. Taliban chief further added that the ten-day prisoner exchange process timeline was extended to four months and objected to the continuing existence of blacklists and the carrying out of drone strikes, raids and artillery attacks on unjustifiable grounds. Hibatullah remarks come just a day after the UN released its latest report on civilian casualties, stating over 1,200 people had been killed in the first six months of this year. The report identified anti-government armed groups, including the Taliban and Daesh as the main cause of the casualties. Afghanistan’s Office of the National Security Council also responded to the report and said the Taliban were responsible “for the vast majority” of civilian casualties.
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