Taliban dismiss Afghanistan’s peace talks offer

31 December, 2018, 11:08 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their 'spring offensive', even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the insurgents back to the negotiating table

The Taliban has rejected Kabul's offer of talks next month in Saudi Arabia where the armed group, fighting to restore strict Islamic law in Afghanistan, will meet the United States officials to further peace efforts, a Taliban leader said.

That was the latest in a series of meetings between United States officials and representatives of the Talian that began in the summer.

Mr Mohananey urged India to first ask Washington not to withdraw precipitately and then to reach out to Taliban because their anticipated rise could "sound the death knell for the government of Ashraf Ghani and also for Indian influence there", he warned.

US President Donald Trump has announced a pullout of American troops from Syria, a decision that prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, and there have been reports that he is considering a partial pullout from Afghanistan.

Trump's decision to pull out some of the 14,000 American forces apparently came as USA peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with the Taliban in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, part of efforts to bring the militants to the negotiating table with Kabul.

Reports of the withdrawal are unconfirmed but they have triggered alarm among many Afghans with bitter memories of the Taliban's ultra-hardline regime.

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The Afghan government has said they will send a negotiating team to Jeddah to talk to the Taliban.

"I don't think their mindset has changed but they have realized that without respecting human rights, they can not be accepted by the global community", said Bilal Sediqi, spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. "They are also exhausted of war".

"I know there is no place for me if the Taliban return in their old style", said Abdul, a 12-year police veteran now working in the western province of Farah.

Taliban fighters attacked the city of Ghazni in central Afghanistan early on Friday, burning police checkpoints, shelling buildings and seizing control of parts of the city, officials said.

CNBC Newsalso included a statement by K. Rajendra Kumar, former director of police in India-held Kashmir (IHK), saying that a change in U.S. policies in Afghanistan would also have implications for IHK, which is home to independence movements and anti-India protesters.

"I think that these statements that the Taliban have changed are only excuses that are being used by the Taliban to gain acceptance", Malina Hamidi, a teacher at a school in the Chamtal district of Balkh province, reportedly declared. "They are also exhausted of war". It is unclear if the Taliban's opium production is on the table during negotiations to end the more than 17-year-old war.

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