Peace talks only with Taliban groups renouncing violence: Afghan govt

Afghan-peace-talksAFGHANISTAN: The Afghan government on Monday said peace talks will only take place with the Taliban groups renouncing violence as efforts are underway to revive the stalled peace process amid rampant Taliban-led insurgency.

Deputy presidential spokesman Syed Zafar Hashemi told reporters that trilateral and quadrilateral meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and United States will continue as part of efforts for the Afghan peace process.

Insisting on immediate end to war and violence by the militant groups as key condition to revive peace talks, Hashemi further added that the quadrilateral meetings focus on creation of a roadmap for peace talks with the Taliban group.

Hashemi also added that the achievements of the Afghan people including freedom of speech would be considered as the government, emphasizing that the militant groups entering peace talks with the government must adopt international norms and standards as the key principle of the reconciliation process.

The remarks by comes as the Taliban-led insurgency have been rampant during the recent months with the Taliban group offering pre-conditions for the revival of the peace talks.

The group issued a statement following Pagwash Conference held from 23rd to 25th January in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

Taliban demanded establishment of official office for the group, removal of blacklist and prize list, and release of prisoners were among the key demands of the group before the formal start of the peace process. -KP

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