Afghan Peace Negotiators Reassess Whether ‘Talking’ While ‘Fighting’ Is Viable

Afghan Peace Negotiators Reassess Whether ‘Talking’ While ‘Fighting’ Is Viable

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14 Oct 2020

With over 35,000 people displaced and nearly 200 killed and wounded in Helmand, Afghan government’s peace negotiator Nader Nadery said if violence continues in Afghanistan, they might have to reassess.

Speaking to BBC, Nadery said it was “unacceptable” for the people to continue suffering due to the increasing violence.

“If the violence goes higher and continues for a longer period of time the level of pressure from the public on us – the team of negotiators from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – will increase and then we will have to do consultation with our people that could this two path of talking and fighting would work or not.”

Nadery said the negotiating teams were trying to strike a balance between the “urgency” of a need for a solution, and attempting to ensure the process is not rushed, undermining “a sustainable peace.”

He told NPR that attacks, like the one in Helmand, are putting the government in an increasingly untenable position.

“It can’t continue like this for long,” he warns, “because if the violence continues to this level or increases, the public pressure will make [peace talks] almost impossible to pursue.”

Casualties continue to rise in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said on Wednesday that the Taliban had carried out 575 offensive attacks, including 92 explosions and sic suicide bombings in the past two weeks.

Tariq Arian, spokesperson for the MoI, said the Taliban have managed to kill and wound 251 civilians in that time span.

In Helmand alone, the MoI said, Taliban carried out two suicide attacks and 72 offensive operations.

Taliban paying money to surrendering forces in Helmand

Journalist Bilal Sarwary shared a video where local security forces said Taliban were paying 50,000 PKR (Pakistani rupee) to every Afghan force member who surrendered in Helmand.

Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi tweeted that the money was being paid to “some captives” to motivate them to kill Afghans.

There has been no other statement regarding this.

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