Taliban Cannot ‘Impose’ Their Stance On Afghan Gov

Officials said the government’s delegation will represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Qatar meeting.

While Taliban insists that no one will attend the Qatar meeting as a representative of the Afghan government, but officials from the National Unity Government said that a delegation will represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the meeting which is scheduled for April 14.

“Taliban cannot determine stance for us,” said Fraidoon Khozzon, a spokesman for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s office. “The Afghan government delegation will portray about the stance of the Afghan government at the meeting.”

Taliban said in a statement on Sunday that the upcoming meeting in Doha will provide only a platform for delegates to exchange their views and that the event will not be negotiations.

A former member of the Taliban says the group will enter into talks with the Afghan government once it settles down their issues with the US side.

“The government and the Taliban are both Afghans. They are also Afghans in the national consensus. They will sit together once the foreign issue is resolved,” said Mawlawi Qalamuddin, former head of Taliban religious police.

“First, we need to create a trust environment. In the second step comes a ceasefire if the Taliban is convinced for it,” said Shahzada Massoud, a close aide to former President Hamid Karzai.

According to a prominent member of Jamiat-e-Islami party, the focus of the Qatar meeting will be discussions on a ceasefire and the foreign forces withdrawal.

“This time, the discussions will be focused on a ceasefire and the strategy which will define the system of government and the integration of the Taliban and the government. Other important issues will also be discussed,” said Mohammad Ismail Khan, member of the leadership council of Jamiat.

This comes a day after the Afghan government held the first meeting of the Reconciliation Leadership Council, which decides on major issues around peace.

President Ghani’s Special Envoy and head of the High Peace Council’s Secretariat, Mohammad Umer Daudzai, at a press conference on Sunday, April 7, briefed the Afghan media about the first meeting of the newly-established Reconciliation Leadership Council which Daudzai said will create a “unified and clear” stance on the peace process.

Daudzai said the number of the council members will be increased in a bid to make it more inclusive.

“The reason behind establishing the Reconciliation Leadership Council is to have a common view on peace from the stance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan afterward. We will have a shared stance and we expect that we get a clear stance from the Taliban as well,” he said.

He said that they made decisions on six issues in the first meeting of the council and that the next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10, where they will approve the final draft of the red lines for the peace process.

Daudzai said a “unified” team with a “clear” stance will attend the Qatar meeting. Daudzai said that Habiba Sarabi, Deputy Head of the High Peace Council, was assigned to chair a committee to work on the formation of a team which will attend the Qatar meeting – scheduled for April 14 and 15.



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