Talks between Afghan politicians and Taliban representatives are scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, in the Russian capital of Moscow. This is despite opposition from the Afghan government as the political representatives are from the non-government circle.
Notable names among those attending the talks are former president Hamid Karzai, and other leaders like Ata Mohammad Noor, presidential candidate and former national security advisor Haneef Atmar, as well as former Taliban members including Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef.
The Taliban are attending the talks with a ten-member delegation from its political office in Qatar led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government has showed reservations about such participation by the non-governmental bloc of Afghanistan. President Ghani’s Chief Advisor Fazel Fazly criticized this move of the political leaders by saying that these individuals who promise to uphold the democratic values of the country are only damaging it for political motives.
The talk between the Taliban and Afghan political representatives is taking place just weeks after intense negotiations between the US and Taliban, which has been ongoing since July 2018.
Although the Moscow Peace Talks of 2018 had official participation by Russia and Pakistan, the host country of current talks clarified last week that this is not in an official format.
Despite consistent and diligent efforts to end the violence and instability in Afghanistan, with the Afghan people backing the idea of peace and democratic values, powerhouses like Russia are looking at the possible US troop withdrawal as an opportunity for a way in.
The war in Afghanistan that has dragged on for 17 years has taken the lives of thousands of people, most of whom are civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.