Tal­iban says no agree­ment reached on end­ing hos­til­i­ties

Noth­ing con­crete achieved that would com­pel us to end the war: mil­i­tants

The Hindu - - WORLD -

The Afghan Tal­iban has said that de­spite the on­go­ing talks with the U.S. and other re­gional pow­ers, it had “not yet reached” any con­clu­sion that would en­tail an im­me­di­ate end to hos­til­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a me­dia re­port.

Speak­ing to Pak­istan’s Dawn News chan­nel, Tal­iban spokesper­son Zabi­ul­lah Mu­jahid said that, even in Moscow talks, noth­ing con­crete was achieved that would com­pel the mil­i­tants to end the war. He in­sisted that the Tal­iban is hold­ing talks with the U.S. “on its own ini­tia­tive”.

Pak­istan’s role

When asked about Pak­istan’s role in bring­ing the Tal­iban to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble, Mr. Mu­jahid said: “There is no role be­ing played by any out­side coun­try. This has al­ways been our own ini­tia­tive and pol­icy.” He, how­ever, said that if the Tal­iban does end up hav­ing a say in the Afghan polity one day, it will ap­proach Pak­istan “as a brother and a neigh­bour”, seek­ing “com­pre­hen­sive ties based on mu­tual re­spect.”

He ac­knowl­edged that Pak­istan had re­mained “the most im­por­tant hub” for Afghan refugees dur­ing the Soviet in­va­sion.

Mr. Mu­jahid said that while the Tal­iban does not have a cod­i­fied man­i­festo, their “clear” ob­jec­tives were the end of the oc­cu­pa­tion of Afghanistan, es­tab­lish­ment of an Is­lamic govern­ment, es­tab­lish­ment of peace and se­cu­rity, re­con­struc­tion of Afghanistan and the pro­vi­sion of ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices. He also said a new Con­sti­tu­tion will be drafted and “im­ple­mented in light of the teach­ings of (the) sharia.

On a ques­tion re­gard­ing the pos­si­ble for­ma­tion of an in­terim govern­ment in Afghanistan, he said that the Tal­iban had nei­ther held any dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing an in­terim govern­ment nor had they pro­posed such an idea.

Ex­plain­ing the Tal­iban po­si­tion on re­fus­ing to talk to the govern­ment in Kabul, Mr. Mu­jahid said that any talks with Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani regime would have sym­bolic ram­i­fi­ca­tions.

If the Tal­iban were hold talks with the Kabul govern­ment, it would mean that it had “ac­cepted this stooge regime as a le­git­i­mate govern­ment (even though it was) im­posed upon us by air craft and (the) bomb­ing of in­vaders”, he said.

AP ■

Talk­ing peace, wag­ing war: Tal­iban of­fi­cials pray­ing dur­ing the Afghan talks in Moscow last week.

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