Eyeing Islamic system, Taliban say no contact with govt
ABUL (Pajhwok): Rejecting reports regarding talks with the Afghan government, the Taliban said on Friday they had neither contacted the authorities nor asked anyone else to carry forward the task.
Earlier reports said the government and the Taliban were preparing to hold face-to-face talks within the next few days, thanks efforts by Pakistan and other stakeholders.
Reports said the two sides had been in contact but it was the first time they would sit across negotiating table to discuss the future of Afghanistan.
Daniel Feldman, US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, on Tuesday held crucial talks Pakistan with army chief General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi and “appreciated Islamabad’s positive role for peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
The US would not be part of the upcoming talks, but it has fully backed the fresh moves for the political solution, said the report.
The report added that efforts were being made to arrange the talks in Kabul in an effort to show that the process is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
“All sides are very much aware of the fact that the breakthrough has to be achieved before the Taliban’s spring offensive.”
Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also confirmed on Tuesday that the Afghan government and the Taliban were holding negotiations.
He informed Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that both sides have already formed committees to pursue the peace talks.
But in a statement, the Taliban rejected all the reports as “baseless and untrue.” Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Pajhwok Afghan News the group had neither contacted the Afghan government nor entrusted the job to anyone else.
“No doubt, every Afghan wants to lead a peaceful life but this can be possible only when foreign forces leave the country and empower the Afghan people,” he observed.
The movement had been fighting against foreign forces for the last 13 years and focusing on the political aspect as well so that an Islamic system was restored in the country, he explained.
The Taliban, he reiterated, had been trying to resolve politically the problems stemming from the presence of foreign forces. He said the militants had good ties with foreigners and their representatives had travelled to various countries in the past.
But he pointed out that officials of the Taliban’s political wing had never travelled to any country for peace talks or held meetings in this regard with anyone.
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