Taliban reject participating in peace talks with Afghan govt
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Taliban on Saturday publicly announced they would not participate in peace talks with the Afghanistan government, saying their supreme leader had authorized no one to participate in any such parlays.
The four-nation group that held its fourth meeting in Kabul announced that they expected first direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Pakistan in the first week of March.
But Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement to Pajhwok Afghan News rejected all speculations that Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour would allow his representatives to attend the peace talks.
“We explicitly say that the Islamic Emirate (the name the Taliban use for themselves) has not assigned anyone and the leadership council has not decided about participation in such talks.”
The Taliban said their political office in Qatar had not been consulted about the peace talks, reiterating their list of demands they had presented at a Pugwash conference.
Mujahid said such talks would give no results until their demands including withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, removal of their leaders from the UN blacklist and releasing their prisoners were met.
The Taliban said on the one had the US was planning to send more troops to Afghanistan besides continuing airstrikes in various areas and actively participating in night raids and on the other arranging meetings to push for peace talks. “These are two contradicting issues.”
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