Saleh: Taliban Would Shoot Entire Afghan Govt Negotiating Team If Possible

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh condemned Friday’s “terrorist attack” on Fawzia Koofi, a member of the government’s peace negotiating team and former lawmaker.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Saleh held the Taliban accountable for the attack, despite the militant group’s denial of being responsible.

Koofi was attacked by gunmen on the Kabul-Parwan route in the Qarabagh area, north of the capital on Friday evening.

Calling the attack an “inhumane and terrorist act by the Taliban,” Saleh wrote that they would be the only ones to benefit.

“Only the Taliban and its allies have an interest in silencing the voice and eliminating the diversity of Afghan society.”

The first vice president added, “If this group [Taliban] can get its hands on it, they will shoot down the entire government negotiating team today or destroy it in a suicide attack.”

According to him, the “internal malice” of the Taliban and their “enmity” with the people of Afghanistan is “unimaginable.”

“In their view, the society has two strata: the Taliban and the rest who must obey the Taliban.”

He emphasizes that it will take a long time for this “medieval thinking” to fade and disappear in their minds.

“Intense and deep military and security measures will bring us closer to peace,” wrote the leader and said the Taliban could not be reconciled by “preaching alone.”

In a tweet, Saleh also questioned the principle of “Reduction in Violence” which is an important condition for the peace talks to start.

“I want to know who used the phrase “Reduced Violence” for the first time in history. I couldn’t find. Death with one bullet or hundred cuts is still death. Dying on the spot due to [gun] shot wounds or dying two days later of the same wounds is still a violent death. Missing principles.”

The remarks come as the government’s peace negotiating team prepares to travel to Qatar for the talks with the Taliban even as the violence levels increased after the Eid ceasefire.

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