Kabul Skeptical About Taliban Pledge To Protect Major Government Projects

The office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has expressed skepticism about a promise by Taliban militants to support and protect development projects in Afghanistan.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's presidential palace, said on November 29 that authorities in Kabul are "waiting to see the Taliban turn their statements into practice."

Murtazawi noted that Taliban fighters have been responsible for damaging millions of dollars' worth of bridges and other key infrastructure projects in Afghanistan in the last three months.

His comments came after the Afghan Taliban on November 29 said it would protect major government projects like a long-delayed Chinese mine at the Mes Aynak copper deposit in Logar Province and the proposed $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline.

The Taliban also mentioned a regional electricity generation project linking Central Asia and South Asia, known as CASA-1000.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.