US President Donald Trump stated that he has cancelled peace talks with the Afghan Taliban after the insurgent group claimed responsibility for the recent Kabul attacks that killed 12 people including a US soldier

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” he wrote in a Twitter thread.

“They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to.. an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people,” he continued. “I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse!

“If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” Trump said on Twitter.

The development came hours after the Afghan government welcomed a pledge by the Pentagon that the US would only accept a “good deal” from the Taliban after a wave of insurgent attacks sparked anxieties of an immediate US withdrawal.

Afghan Government’s Response

Afghanistan adored the “sincere efforts of its allies” after Donald Trump said he had called off negotiations with the Taliban, apparently ending a year-long diplomatic push to exit US’ longest war.

“The Afghan government, in relation to the peace, appreciates the sincere efforts of its allies and is committed to working together with the United States and other allies to bring lasting peace,” said a statement from President Ashraf Ghani’s office.

The statement came after Trump tweeted late Saturday that he had planned unprecedented, albeit separate, talks with the Taliban and with Ghani on Sunday at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. The secret talks would have come after months of diplomatic wrangling between the US and the Taliban over a deal that would allow Washington to begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.

The US-backed Ghani government in Kabul had eyed the deal with deep mistrust and long complained of being ignored from the talks.

“We have always insisted that real peace can only be achieved if the Taliban stop killing Afghans and accept a ceasefire, and face-to-face talks with the Afghan government,” the statement from Ghani’s office said.

India Jubilant?

India has always supported the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled,” process and has always wanted the exclusion of arch-rivals Pakistan from the final settlement plan.

Ever since the reconstruction work commenced in Afghanistan, India invested over $3 billion building roads, hospitals, schools, providing training and arms, fighter aircraft to the Afghan armed forces.

The coming of the Taliban to the centre stage in Afghanistan will not only heighten insecurity in the country, but it will also pose a huge security threat to India because Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan will increase and Islamabad could use the Taliban against India.

With Donald Trump announcing the cancellation of negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, New Delhi would have breathed a sigh of relief, even if short-lived, and Pakistan would see this as yet another roadblock for their dream of dominating Afghanistan and limiting Indian influence.


Pakistan PM Imran Khan and US Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday lend their support to the people of Kashmir who have been living under lockdown for almost a month in the Kashmir Valley.

Speaking at the event, Sanders, a Democratic presidential hopeful for the US Elections 2020, termed India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir as “unacceptable”.

“I am also deeply concerned about the situation in Kashmir where the Indian government has revoked Kashmiri autonomy, cracked down on dissent and instituted a communications blackout.

“The crackdown in the name of security is also denying the Kashmiri people access to medical care. Even many respected doctors in India have acknowledged that the Indian government-imposed restrictions on travel are threatening the life-saving care that patients need,” he said.

“The communications blockade must be lifted immediately and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people,” the senator stated.

PM Khan in his address, via video link, spoke about the need to understand the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) party — said to be a parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I am trying my best but from ISNA’s platform, you have to make the concerted effort to make people understand this phenomenon which has taken over India. You have to make the Western societies understand the RSS.”

“We fear in Pakistan that we are not dealing with a rational government in India,” Khan stated, adding: “We believe that the sort of oppression they will do in Kashmir and are already doing, they will need to divert the world’s attention to Pakistan and we believe as they did in February, they will take some sort of an action, an attack in Pakistan.”

Khan said that he had asked the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to play its role. Additionally, he said he would raise the issue at the United Nations General Assembly. He urged ISNA to make people aware of what was going on in India.

Earlier, the United States had on Thursday said that it was “very concerned” about the reports of detentions and restrictions imposed on Jammu and Kashmir residents. The comments came three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met United States President Donald Trump at the G-7 summit in France, where Trump said that the Indian prime minister had the Kashmir situation “under control”.

These developments come ahead of PM Modi’s visit to New York for the 74th session of the General Assembly later this month.

India, however, has said that the decisions it has taken for the region of Jammu and Kashmir are its internal matter. At the G-7 summit, Modi had rejected any possibility of a third party mediating in the Kashmir dispute as it was a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan.

Even though India has time and again reiterated that Kashmir is an internal matter, the US is still offering to mediate between Indian and Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir. The US President who has made repeated offers of mediation before once again stated on Tuesday that he will discuss the Kashmir issue with Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the upcoming G7 summit this weekend in France.

Trump maintaining his eagerness to mediate on Kashmir said that he will do the best he can to bring India and Pakistan on the same page with respect to Kashmir. The revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A by the government of India has rather led to an internationalisation of the Kashmir conflict.

‘Explosive Situation’ In Kashmir: Trump

The US President said that the situation in Kashmir has become explosive. Furthermore, he said that Kashmir is a complicated place and has a lot to do with religion.

He elaborated that Hindus and Muslims in the valley don’t go along very well and that is a grave situation. These comments from Trump came during his interview with the reporters in the Oval Office of the White House.

Why India Might Not Like These Comments?

Donald Trump’s assertion of giving a religious angle to Kashmir may not go well with New Delhi. India has categorically told the US several times that India isn’t looking for any mediation on Kashmir.

This new offer to mediate calling Kashmir as being explosive will certainly irk India. If Donald Trump again brings this to the table along the sidelines of the upcoming G7 summit, then this will further deteriorate the India-US relationship.

These comments (on Kashmir) came after Donald Trump held telephonic conversations with both, Narendra Modi and Imran Khan. Trump stated that he has had a word with both the prime ministers with regards to trade, strategic partnerships and most imperatively, maintaining restraint in Kashmir.