“The Taliban movement has changed,” Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, and head of the second Asia department in the Russian foreign ministry told The Hindu during an interview.
The senior diplomat then explained the reason for the transformation of the group since the 1990s.
“First and foremost, the Taliban has had enough time to learn from its mistakes. As we can see, it has abandoned some radical and Jihadist principles.”
He pointed to the group’s willingness and interest in maintaining ties with all regional countries which had not been the case before.
“The recent statement by the Taliban spokesman about non-interference in the internal affairs of other States issued with respect to the fake publications about the Taliban supporting Pakistan’s position on Kashmir is a good example,” Kabulov explained.
The envoy also said there is grounds for optimism about Afghanistan’s future with the intra-Afghan peace dialogues and the imminent withdrawal of all U.S. troops.
He said much will depend on how the Afghan government and the Taliban proceed with the prisoner exchange and if Kabul manages to establish a negotiating team that the Taliban will be willing to engage in a dialogue with.