Govt signals willingness for talks with militant outfits
KABUL (Pajhwok): With the war escalating in different parts of the country, the Ashraf Ghani administration on Wednesday signaled its willingness to consider different options on peace negotiations with militants.
Presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri indicated the government’s readiness for reconciliation talks, when approached for comments on a British newspaper regarding recent meetings between government and Taliban representatives.
In response to an emailed query from Pajhwok Afghan News, Chakhansuri said: “Recently, we saw a notable number of Taliban’s Quetta Shura members showing willingness to engage in peace talks and that they understand it's important for them to establish contacts for political process directly with the government.”
A day earlier, a British newspaper reported Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, brother of Mullah Omar, was among participants of secret the meetings held in September and October.The two rounds of talks are the first known negotiations to have taken place since a Pakistan-brokered process broke down following the death in a US drone strike of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.
Chakhansuri believed the peace deal with the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan, led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, had probably made an impact on other rebel outfits. There was more confidence among different groups in the government’s willingness to engaging in direct talks.
Also on Wednesday, the Taliban denied resuming clandestine peace negotiations with Afghan government representatives in Qatar. “We reject the Guardian report regarding the resumption of talks between the Islamic Emirate and the Afghan government,” Zabihullah Mujahid said.
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