AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal has said the Afghan Taliban support and want peace, expressing optimisms that the group will likely participate in peace negotiations with the Afghan government in the near future.
Citing persistent issues the Afghan peace process is facing, Zakhilwal said “I am confident we will soon be talking to the Taliban and other opposition groups.”
“Soon we will kick off negotiations toward an agreement for peace,” Zakhilwal quoted in a report by Gandhara/Radio Free Europe said.
He did not disclose further information regarding the obstacles creating barriers for the peace talks to kick off.
This comes as the Taliban group representatives based in Qatar insisted on preconditions of the group before they sit-inf for direct talks with the Afghan government.
Admitting that the group is unaware of the potential upcoming direct talks with the Afghan government, a spokesman for the group’s political office in Qatar, Mohammad Naim, said last month that they have not changed their preconditions for joining the peace process, which he had announced at the Pugwash research center in Doha on January 23.
The precondition of the Taliban including complete withdrawal of the foreign forces from Afghanistan, official recognition of Taliban’s political office in Qatar, removal of Taliban from United Nations terrorist blacklist, halt to the arrest and elimination of Taliban, and release of the Taliban inmates from prisons.
Pakistan has 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 on Tuesday. -KP