AFGHANISTAN: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani called on Taliban militants group to choose between war and peace, insisting that the group is facing a major test to choose between the country, nation and militancy.
In his speech during the inauguration of the 6th working year of the Afghan parliament, President Ghani said the ongoing violence in the country is not having any internal roots but has been imposed on the Afghan nation.
He said Al-Qaeda is one of the elements of the ongoing violence in the country, while foreign insurgents from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and other countries also have role in the waging violence.
President Ghani also added that a consensus is available for peace and stability in the country together with a strong will, insisting that there should never be a doubt on government’s will to ensure stability in the country.
The remarks by President Ghani comes as the Taliban group refused to sit-in for direct peace talks with the Afghan government amid efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) to revive the stalled talks.
According to a statement released by the group, the decision to refrain from direct negotiations was taken due to deployment of troops by US to Afghanistan, ongoing airstrikes, and expansion of military operations by Afghan government amid ongoing efforts to revive peace talks, which the group called a ‘propaganda’.
The group once reiterated on its pre-conditions to sit-in for peace talks, saying ” unless the occupation of Afghanistan is ended, black lists eliminated and innocent prisoners freed, such futile misleading negotiations will not bear any results.”
The Afghan government was expecting to meet the Taliban representatives during a direct face to face meeting to discuss the peace process in the first week of March.
Pakistan had offered to host the first round of direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives following the conclusion of the fourth round of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting late last month. -KP