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Taliban warns US against defying May 1 deadline

The Taliban warned Washington on Friday against defying a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan. It issued their warning at a press conference in Moscow, the day after meeting with senior Afghan government negotiators and international observers to try to begin a stalled peace process to Afghan’s decades of war. 

“They should go. After that, it will be a kind of violation of the agreement. That violation would not be from our side,” Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban negotiation team, told reporters, warning that staying beyond May 1 would breach the deal.  

He also reiterated that the Taliban were firm in their demand for an Islamic government. In earlier statements, the Taliban have said their vision of an Islamic government would allow girls to attend school, and women to work or be in public life. But in every conversation, they emphasised the need to follow Islamic injunctions. They have said they would not accept a woman as president, and while women could be judges, however they could not take the job of the Chief Justice.

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