Taliban's Dubai meeting urges home-grown solution
KABUL (Pajhwok): Former Taliban leaders and military commanders, who met in the UAE, have called for the initiation of an intra-Afghan dialogue to end the ongoing conflict, saying their doors were open to opponents, including the Afghan government, for talks.
Agha Jan Motasim, who was finance minister in the Taliban regime, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that a number of former Taliban ministers, diplomats and incumbent military commanders and leaders had held a meeting in Dubai.
Motasim, who still considers himself a Taliban leader and claims retaining considerable influence within the movement, said the Dubai meeting was unanimous on opening dialogue with the government and other rival factions.
He said it was fortunate that all participants of the meeting stressed the importance of peace efforts for achieving an intra-Afghan settlement, which he called the most significant solution.
“We have tried in the past as well to reach the main goal of a lasting peace and we continue to cling to that stance,” said Motasim, who wanted an end to the destructive war and supported efforts for durable peace in Afghanistan.
He said many conflicts had been resolved through negotiations in the world, including the US-Iran tension, and the problem in Afghanistan should be settled the same way.
He said Islamabad had also initiated a peace dialogue with the Pakistani Taliban to arrive at a political solution to the insurgency, calling on the Afghans to follow suit.
Motasim said he did not hope the outcome of the upcoming elections would be acceptable to all Afghans and political parties if the flames of war continued to rage with the same intensity.
He said the presence of American and other foreign troops on Afghan soil was the legacy of internal conflicts that surfaced after the withdrawal of Soviet forces.
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