Taliban Is Looking For Excuses: Will the Next Step Be Intra-Afghan Talks?

The list of the Afghan government’s negotiating team and political parties with the Taliban has been announced.

According to the list – Masoum Stanakzai, Nader Naderi, and Matin Big on behalf of Ashraf Ghani; Klimollah Naqibi, Ghulam Farouk Majroh and Hafiz Mansour on behalf of the Hezb-e Jamiat Islami;  Enayatollah Baligh on behalf of Abdolrab Rasul Sayyaf; Dr. Mohammad Amin Ahmadi from Mohammad Karim Khalili; Mohammad Nateghi from Mohammad Mohaghegh; Rasul Taleb on behalf of Danish Server; Fawzia Kufi on behalf of Amrullah Saleh; Fatema Gelani from Gelani part, Batoor Dustom son of Gen. Dostum, Khalid Noor son of Ata Mohammad Noor; Shahla Farid, Sharifa Zarmati and Habiba Sarabi as women representatives  Of the Afghan delegation are scheduled to meet with the representatives of the Taliban and negotiate about peace and the future of political system.

Reactions to negotiation list

The list has finalized after days of turmoil and crisis. Reactions to this list have varied among social network users. As some well-known figures have reacted that this first of all, the negotiating delegation must align with political leaders and confidently negotiate with the Taliban and defend the human rights and freedoms. 

US reaction

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday that he thanked his Afghan Counterparts for forming a comprehensive negotiating team for success in the intra-Afghan talks and urged both Afghan leaders to form an inclusives government. Pompeo said in his tweets that he praised the pledges of Ghani and Abdullah to begin the process of releasing Taliban prisoners and striving for peace and reconciliation.

Pompeo’s remarks come as the Afghan government still considers the release of Taliban prisoners conditional to the start of the intra-Afghan talks as the Taliban group also rejected the negotiation delegation formed by the Afghan government.

Taliban’s reaction

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the government had not formed a comprehensive delegation. The Taliban’s position is for the government to take part in intera-Afghan talks in one direction. Taliban political representatives are actually looking for an excuse not to negotiate with the Afghan government because there is no common ground on which the two sides can agree. Even the process has so far been under pressure by the Americans, otherwise the Taliban have no will to negotiate and are practically playing with the Afghan government as so many times they have refused to meet with Afghan government officials.

The Afghan government insists to manage and control the process in any way. But it faces challenges from inside because the political crisis caused by the elections and the issue of power sharing in Kabul has put the government in a weak position in the peace process.  However, Ghani’s senior adviser, Wahid Omar, has said that the release of Taliban prisoners is conditional to the start of the intera-Afghan talks.

He called on the Taliban to form their delegations to begin intera-Afghan talks as soon as possible.

Omar has insisted that “the Taliban should no longer bring excuses and prevent the peace process.”

Therefore, intra-Afghan peace talks are highly complex, and the parties involved in each process demonstrate conflicting behavior and speech, all indicating that it is difficult for the Afghan people to achieve the desired outcome in such a critical situation.

Zackaria Noori contributed reporting.

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