Peace talks with Taliban to begin in weeks, hopes CEO
Lalit K Jha
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Dr Abdullah on Thursday exuded confidence that talks with the Taliban could begin in the next few weeks, but such a start would not necessarily translate into success.
“As regards talks with the Taliban, negotiations have not started yet. We hope it will start. At this stage, the date, venue and composition of delegations are not being discussed. We hope in the coming few weeks it would start,” Abdullah told reporters here. `
But at the same time, the start of negotiations did not mean reaching peace overnight, he cautioned, saying only the process would get off the ground. Pakistan had made it clear to the Taliban they need to talk to the government of Afghanistan, he admitted.
Abdullah stressed women would be represented in talks with the Taliban. “Women would be represented in the talks, which have not started yet. There have been contacts in order to facilitate talks.”
He spurned reports the Taliban were asking for seven-eight provinces, saying that was not the way to stabilise a country or achieve peace. The conditions for talks with the Taliban remained the same: Give up violence, sever links with terrorist groups and accept the constitution. They could fight politically for what they wanted to achieve within the realm of law, he argued.
“Preserving achievements of the past 14 years, is a duty and a responsibility that we can’t ignore. This includes the constitutional rights of our people. Under no circumstances, such compromise would lead to peace. It would lead to further chaos,” the CEO remarked.
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