Karzai says QCG talks Afghanistan’s only hope for peace as Taliban reject talks

hamid-karzai_43The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the ongoing talks by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) were Afghanistan’s only hope for peace.

In interview with India’s The Hindu newspaper, Karzai said there is no other hope for peace despite the fact the talks were being held in Pakistan.

“We have no other hope for peace. Which is what forces us to accept a condition we are unhappy with (on the venue for talks in Pakistan). Of course, we aren’t happy that these talks aren’t being held in Afghanistan,” Karzai added.

Karzai made the remarks ahead of a Taliban statement released on Saturday, refusing any offer to sit-in for direct peace talks with the Afghan government.

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.

Meanwhile, Karzai said India, Iran and Russia should be included in the talks with the Taliban. “We believe China has an influence on Pakistan, and we hope it will exercise that influence to bring peace in Afghanistan,” Mr. Karzai said.

He also added “Let’s look at it this way… this quadrilateral dialogue implies that the problem for Afghanistan is external, then there are other external players as well who are important. Iran is the first, then India and Russia. They are all friends and neighbours, so I hope the talks would include them too.” -KP

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