Noor conditionally backs negotiations with Taliban
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The acting governor of northern Balkh province on Wednesday said he was not opposed to a share in government for the Taliban as part of the peace process.
Atta Mohammad Noor was talking to reporters in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, about preparations for Nawroz celebrations, commencing from Saturday.
Also Chief Executive of the Jamiat-i-Islami party, Noor conditionally supported the reconciliation process, saying the gains made over the past 13 years should not be lost for the sake of winning peace.
“Friendship with one country should not spoil ties with another. We should not lose Pakistan to befriend another country,” he remarked, while referring to the ongoing efforts at reviving the stalled peace talks.
The acting governor was supportive of enhanced relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not at the cost of relations with other countries. He stressed transparency in the process and keeping the Afghans abreast of developments in this regard.
Noor said political parties, which had been in conflict with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in the past, should be consulted on the proposed parlays. He did not think the process had reached a stage where the rebels should be offered ministries.
But he said: “If the Taliban truly join the peace process and they are given a position (in the government), I am not against it, but it should not make the people, the system and the government to pay a heavy price.”
About security measures for the Nawroz festival, the acting governor said Afghan security forces had been making efforts over the past one month to ensure elaborate security for the festival.
He said 5,400 personnel had been deployed to maintain security during the festival that marks the new Persian year. The governor said no one would be allowed to enter with illegal arms into the city during the next six days.
He also said the festival had nothing to do with religion. “There are some people who call it a myth, but the Afghans have inherited it from their forefathers and it has nothing to do with religion.”
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