NSC welcomes Taliban’s Dubai meeting declaration
A veteran Taliban leader, Agha Jan Motasim, formerly finance minister in the Taliban regime, told Pajhwok Afghan News last week that a number of former Taliban ministers, diplomats and incumbent military commanders and leaders had held a meeting in Dubai.
Motasim said the Dubai meeting was unanimous on opening dialogue with the government and other rival factions. 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.
The Taliban’s declaration was welcomed by the NSC that met under President Hamid Karzai chairmanship at the Presidential Palace, a statement from the palace said on Sunday.
A day earlier, the High Peace Council (HPC) also welcomed some former Taliban officials’ willingness for talks with the government, saying it supported steps toward Afghanistan’s stability.
The HPC supported all attempts at ending the war and bloodshed, strengthening national sovereignty and bringing peace, a press release from the council said.
The HPC called direct talks a guarantee of preventing foreign interference and uniting the nation, stressing efforts in this regard as a national and religious responsibility of all -- especially religious scholars, political experts and elders.
The NSC meeting also tasked a delegation to investigate alleged civilian casualties in recent operations by Afghan forces in central Kapisa province.
Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and National Security Advisor Ragin Dadfar Spanta were present at the meeting.
Mohammadi briefed the participants on recent operations in the Tagab district of Kapisa by Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel.
The NSC decided on assigning a delegation to investigate reports that claimed a number of civilians and Afghan security forces had been killed in the recent search operations.
Karzai briefed the meeting about the trilateral summit he attended in Turkey with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and host premier Abdullah Gul in Ankara.
He said the summit had been another trust-building opportunity for leaders of the three countries.
Dadfar Spanta updated the NSC on the draft bilateral cooperation agreement between Iran and Afghanistan.
HPC Secretariat chief Masoom Stanikzai provided information to the meeting on progress so far made in connection with the peace negotiations with the Taliban.
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