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Peace only undisputed point in Doha talks: Analysts

Peace only undisputed point in Doha talks: Analysts

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Sep 13, 2020 - 21:55

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Constitution, womeninfo-icon’s rights, freedom of expression, form of governance and ceasefire are contentious issues in the intra-Afghan talks underway in Qatar but peace is the only undisputed point, believe political analysts.

Sources in the two sides and some political experts expect that the stumbling blocks would be removed through dialogue and there would be a positive outcome.

The intra-Afghan talks, originally scheduled to begin ten days after the US and the Talibaninfo-icon signed an agreement on Feb 29, were delayed for six months that saw the government and the Taliban swapping prisoners. The talks finally began on Saturday.

After the opening ceremony of the talks in Doha, an introductory meeting took place between the government and the Taliban representatives and both the sides agreed to form a joint working body.

Political experts expressed different views about contentious issues but they said peace was the only undisputable point between the two sides.

Political analyst Ahmad Saeedi told Pajhwok that more agreeable points in the talks would help deliver an early outcome but the talks would drag on if there were more disputed issues.

However, he said peace was the only undisputed point in the talks. He said the government would insist on preservation of the democratic system, achievements of the two decades, lasting ceasefire and the constitution, but the Taliban would demand replacement of the democratic system with their emirate, dissolution of the armed forces and vast participation in military and other spheres.

He said it would not be possible to break ice on the contentious issues in one or two sittings. “I don’t see an early stop to the bloodshed, but it is hoped peace would come slowly.”

Another political analyst, Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, also said peace was common goal of the two sides but the constitution, women’s rights, freedom of expression and form of governance would be sticking points in negotiations.

“As both sides are Muslims and Afghans, they would want to resolve issues based on Islamic principles, so there may not be any problem and they may reach an outcome soon.”

However, Kabul university teacher Asadullah Wahidi said peace was an agreeable point in the intra-Afghan talks but differences would occur on other issues.

“The form of governance is the most contentious issue because the government would want continuation of the democratic system and the Taliban would want the Islamic emirate but it would be better to leave this decision to the Afghans as what kind of government they want.”

Taliban culture commission deputy head Ahmadullah Wasiq also said peace was the only agreeable point in the intra-Afghan talks and both the sides wanted an end to the conflict. He said he was hopeful the two sides would resolve controversial subjects and reach an agreement.

When asked about the most contentious issue, he said without giving details that the Kabul administration would not surrender power but the Afghans did not want the Kabul administration. He said if the Afghans wanted the Kabul government, the government would have its writ in provinces.

“The Kabul administration has even no sway in areas a few kilometers away from Kabul,” he said. He said there were nothing common in talks between the Taliban and the US but they reached an agreement.

High Council for National Reconciliation spokesman Faridon Khwazon said there must be differences but both the sides wanted to reach an outcome.

“The start of talks is itself an agreement that both sides want peace. However it is necessary that both sides agree on truce in order the talks gain the trust of Afghans.”

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