Ghani says no to Taliban’s demand for interim government
However, Ghani was ready to accommodate Taliban’s demands if the group dropped preconditions for direct talks, the presidential advisor on peace affairs said in an interview published on Wednesday.
Qutbuddin Hilal told a Pakistani newspaper: “The national unity government is willing to discuss amendments to the constitution, help remove names of Taliban leaders from a UN sanctions list, reopen the Taliban political office in Qatarand release their prisoners.”
The Taliban have asked the Quadrilateral Contac Group, involving Afghanistan, China, the US and Pakistan to take initiate certain confidence-building measures before they could join the talks in Islamabad.
Hilal said: “There is no opposition to all but one Taliban demands. Ghani has rejected the Taliban demand for installation of an interim government. The president insists he will not compromise on a government elected by the people.”
He claimed the militant outfit was no longer insisting on an immediate pullout of foreign forces. Instead the Taliban are now seeking a timeframe for the withdrawal of the international troops from the country.
“They (Taliban) must participate (in Islamabad talks). If they don’t, then it means nothing will happen,” Hilal remarked, calling on the government to come up with a positive response to the Taliban demands.
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