There is no military solution to the conflicts in Afghanistan, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Khalilzad believes peace is still possible in Afghanistan as Washington has started to withdraw its remaining troops.
The United States on Tuesday ordered non-essential staff to leave its Kabul embassy, citing increased threats as Washington prepares to end its 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The order came two weeks after President Joe Biden announced that US troops, currently around 2,500, would leave the country by September.
Earlier this month Biden said he would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led the United States to invade and topple the Taliban regime which had welcomed Al-Qaeda.
Biden concluded that US forces had achieved their objectives and could do little more, but US officials have made no secret of their fears that violence will intensify as the Taliban perceives that they achieved victory.
Meanwhile, Khalilzad, Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan, warned at the Senate hearing that US aid could be slashed if a Taliban-dominated government did not respect human rights.
Khalilzad said that the Taliban has warned that if attacked, a strong response will be given.
Khalilzad told US lawmakers in Congress that keeping US forces in Afghanistan did not make sense as the conflict could not be solved by continued fighting.
He said the US is helping the Kabul government to find contractors to replace the departing American ones.
Pakistan understands impact of civil war in Afghanistan
Khalilzad said Pakistan has played a special role for peace in Afghanistan.
“US officials and I are in touch with the Pakistani leadership. Pakistan has been asked to use its influence on the Taliban to reduce violence and increase political stability,” he said.
He said the Pakistani leadership has assured that they do not support Taliban occupation.
“I think Pakistan understands the impact of civil war in Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said.
With additional input from AFP