Taliban showed reservations over the Ghani’s team for Intra-Afghan dialogue

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Afghan Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid showed reservations over the formation of Afghan Government delegation for Intra-Afghan dialogue. In a Pashtu and Persian language statement he said all our compatriots and the world is aware that the Islamic Emirate has repeatedly shown its willingness to hold intra-Afghan negotiations with all influential Afghan sides in line with the agreement however the other sides have so far failed in putting together an effective, pro-peace and inclusive team.

President Ashraf Ghani has  announced a 21 member delegation headed by Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, former head the National Directorate of Security (NDS) for Intra-Afghan meeting in OSLO, Norway. The delegation was comprised of representatives of Parliament, former intelligence officers, members of former militant’s leaders, civil society. Five women are also part of delegation

Zabihullah Mujahid said now as the Kabul administration has announced a team, we would like to make the following points, the policy of the Islamic Emirate from the very beginning has been that the Kabul administration may participate in intra-Afghan negotiations as a part of other Afghan sides.

The team announced by the Kabul administration clearly violates our principled policy and the agreement concluded with United States, Zabihullah Mujahid added.

Taliban spokesman further said in order to reach true and lasting peace, the aforementioned team must be agreed upon by all effective Afghan sides so that it can represent all sides however majority of other sides have rejected the current announced team.

Considering the mentioned points, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan once again like to clarify its stance that impediments must not be created for intra-Afghan negotiations nor must a single group try to monopolize the issue of an entire country.

According to analysts Taliban raised questions over the Asharf Ghani 21 members’ team because a few of them remained very hard opponents of Afghan Taliban in the past and they are not acceptable to them as negotiators.

Zabihullah Mujahid added that we shall only sit for talks with a negotiation team that conforms to our agreements and is constituted in accordance with the laid out principles.

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