KABUL (Pajhwok): In reaction to Taliban’s demand for President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation, the Presidential Palace has said the constitution has clearly defined his authority. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a member of Taliban’s negotiating team, told a press conference in Moscow they were ready to make peace with the government if Ghani resigned.
But Dawa Khan Minapal, deputy presidential spokesman, told Pajhwok the legitimacy of the system essentially stemmed from the people and the constitution had specified the president’s term. The law was pretty clear, he insisted. “Abbas Stanikzai’s demand is the demand of Afghanistan’s enemies, who want to derail the current system and push the country back to the situation that existed 30 years,” he alleged.
But Menapal said the Afghans wanted the protection of the system. During his trip to eastern Nangarhar province last month, Ghani had made clear he would hand over power only to an elected president. According to Menapal, the Taliban have no desire for peace and want the continuation of conflict in the country.
He argued: “The Taliban’s agreement with the US states the rebel movement will reduce violence and pave the way for a permanent ceasefire. But they continue to commit violence and have intensified the war.” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has also accused the Taliban of failing to honour their commitment to reducing violence, raising questions about whether all US troops would be able to leave by May under the peace deal.
Former presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqi says the Afghans and the international community could no longer be deceived by the Taliban. Shah Hussain Murtazawi, advisor to the president, also tweeted the Taliban were conducting political maneuvers with trips to Moscow and Tehran. They were sending a real message to the US, he wrote. “With these visits, Iran and Russia also want to show the US that they are also allies of the Taliban and use this group as a tool,” he concluded.