Taliban meet Afghan politicians in Moscow for peace

The writer is a member faculty of contemporary studies at NDU Islamabad and can be reached

The writer is a member faculty of contemporary studies at NDU Islamabad and can be reached

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai attends the opening of two-day talks between Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives, at the President Hotel in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 5, 2019.

Ghani has appealed to the insurgents to talk after being frozen out of six days of discussions between the Taliban and the United States in Doha last month that sealed the outlines of a peace deal.

The Taliban has instead sat down at the table in Moscow with Ghani's main rivals, including Afghan politicians and warlords-turned-politicians who were once sworn enemies of the hardline Sunni Islamist group.

Expressing hopes that an agreement will be reached regarding the scheduled withdrawal of the foreign forces from Afghanistan, Mohaqiq said the political leaders and Taliban share similar views in this regard which could lead to the launch intra-Afghan peace talks.

Decades after the Soviet Union's disastrous venture into Afghanistan, Russia is emerging as a major player in the region with ties to the Taliban and Afghan politicians as United States troops withdraw from the country.

In addition, a number of civil society activists on Wednesday demonstrated outside the Russian embassy and came out in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and opposed the proposal for the establishment of an interim government.

Earlier this week, President Ashraf Ghani said the Afghan politicians attending the Moscow Talks have no executive authorities and are not officially representing Afghanistan.

Stanekzai said the Taliban want the crisis to be resolved in a peaceful way and that the group wants to play a significant role in the security of the region.

Ayubi says 12 troops were also wounded and that the Taliban onslaught at the base on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, lasted for over two hours.

Girls were banned from schools and colleges and women prohibited from the workplace save in a few areas such as medicine.

Tried and tested: Predicted Manchester United lineup to face Leicester
The Norwegian coach took over the reins at Old Trafford with Manchester United in sixth spot and 11 points adrift of the top four.

"We all of us agreed on the withdrawal of foreign forces and the establishment of an Islamic government and making a constitution - an Islamic constitution", he said. Pompeo "underscored the central importance of ensuring the centrality of the Afghan government in the peace process", Ghani said.

Addressing the conference, Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban delegation flayed the Afghan Constitution and the presence of the foreign troops in the war-ravaged country.

Trump said on Tuesday his administration had accelerated talks for a political settlement in Afghanistan and would be able to reduce US troops there as negotiations advanced to end America's longest war.

It comes as broader peace talks aimed at ending the country's 17-year war appear to be gaining momentum, despite the Taliban's continued refusal to meet directly with Afghan government representatives.

Khalilzad and the Taliban say they made significant progress in the Doha talks and have come close to a deal on withdrawal of USA -led foreign forces from Afghanistan.

Taliban's chief negotiator said they do not intend to monopolize power after an end to foreign invasion but want to establish an Afghan inclusive Islamic system with the consent of all Afghans.

"If you guys can eat together, laugh and pray together, hug each other why you are still killing innocent Afghans?" one Facebook user posted.

"The majority of Afghans overseas and inside the country have expectations from the Moscow talks; they wait for happy news while our rivals and those opposing peace and foresee interests in the war expect negative results from these talks here".

Such a meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians - including Karzai, who was appointed by the USA - is nearly unheard of.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.