Govt ‘ready’ to open Taliban office in Afghanistan: Ghani
KABUL (TOLOnews): President Ashraf Ghani, who visited Nangarhar province on Sunday, said the Afghan government is ready to allow the Taliban to open an office in Kabul, Kandahar or Nangarhar.
Ghani said “a sustainable peace and a peace with dignity” will come to the country and for this, he is ready to even sacrifice his life.
But remarks like this are not new as Ghani has made such statements in the past.
However, despite these offers, the Taliban has until now refused to hold talks with the Afghan government.
“We want peace in Mecca. Is that satisfactory or Moscow?” asked Ghani. “The nation says that they (Afghan politicians and Taliban members) did not go to Mecca but they went to Moscow (for talks on peace); therefore, they should answer to this question.”
Ghani said that he is expected to give up his position – for peace – but added that this post was given to him by the people who voted for him and that this will not be compromised.
Some delegates who attended the Moscow talks, which were held on February 5 and 6 between Afghan politicians and Taliban representatives, meanwhile said the main message to emerge from the meeting was that the war should end in the country and ways to attain peace need to be found.
“Ultimately, Taliban has reached the conclusion that it is not possible to fight forever. And the fact that they said that they are not seeking monopolization of power and that everyone should come together and establish a new system in Afghanistan; this means that Taliban is not in favor of the past experience that monopolization of power cannot help bring peace to Afghanistan,” said Wahid Muzhda, a delegate who attended Moscow talks.
Political affairs analyst Nazar Mohammad Motmaen, who also attended the talks, said other key points to come out of the meeting was that the Afghan politicians saw a “flexibility” in Taliban’s views towards women and the social and political role they play.
“They did not have problems about women’s education, business and a role in government if Islamic principles and Afghan values are considered. This was the issue on which the women delegates there (in Moscow talks) were convinced about it,” Motmaen said.
Despite skepticism by government about the Moscow talks, an official from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council said some parts of the Moscow resolution will be added to their agenda.
“The High Peace Council is studying the resolution issued at Moscow talks. The parts of the resolution which are in favor of Afghans will be considered in daily activities of the council,” said Sayed Ehsan Taheri, spokesman for the High Peace Council.
The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, support to Doha talks, removing Taliban members’ names from the UN blacklist, the release of their prisoners and legitimizing Taliban’s Qatar office are part of the agreements made at the Moscow talks.
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said last month that they had agreed on a draft for peace when he held six-day talks with Taliban members in Doha late last month.