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Taliban says no agreement reached on ending hostilities

No cease and desist? Taliban officials praying during the intra-Afghan talks in Moscow last week.

No cease and desist? Taliban officials praying during the intra-Afghan talks in Moscow last week.   | Photo Credit: Pavel Golovkin

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Nothing concrete achieved that would compel us to end the war: militants

The Afghan Taliban has said that despite the ongoing talks with the U.S. and other regional powers, it had “not yet reached” any conclusion that would entail an immediate end to hostilities, according to a media report.

Speaking to Pakistan’s Dawn News channel, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that, even in Moscow talks, nothing concrete was achieved that would compel the militants to end the war. He insisted that the Taliban is holding talks with the U.S. “on its own initiative“.

Pakistan’s role

When asked about Pakistan’s role in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table, Mr. Mujahid said: “There is no role being played by any outside country. This has always been our own initiative and policy.” He, however, said that if the Taliban does end up having a say in the Afghan polity one day, it will approach Pakistan “as a brother and a neighbour”, seeking “comprehensive ties based on mutual respect.”

He acknowledged that Pakistan had remained “the most important hub” for Afghan refugees during the Soviet invasion.

Mr. Mujahid said that while the Taliban does not have a codified manifesto, their “clear” objectives were the end of the occupation of Afghanistan, establishment of an Islamic government, establishment of peace and security, reconstruction of Afghanistan and the provision of administrative services. He also said a new Constitution will be drafted and “implemented in light of the teachings of (the) sharia.

On a question regarding the possible formation of an interim government in Afghanistan, he said that the Taliban had neither held any discussions regarding an interim government nor had they proposed such an idea.

Explaining the Taliban position on refusing to talk to the government in Kabul, Mr. Mujahid said that any talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regime would have symbolic ramifications.

If the Taliban were hold talks with the Kabul government, it would mean that it had “accepted this stooge regime as a legitimate government (even though it was) imposed upon us by air craft and (the) bombing of invaders”, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 10:44:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/taliban-says-no-agreement-reached-on-ending-hostilities/article26231058.ece

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