Abdullah hopes Taliban will heed calls for ceasefire
KABUL: Afghanistan’s point man for peace, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, says he expects the Taliban to heed repetitive calls for ceasefire and join hands for a peaceful future.
Afghanistan is in a historic turning point as the government and Taliban are negotiating an end to the war, said Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation. In a statement, he said he pins hope on Taliban to honor the nation’s demands to cease hostilities and embrace peace.
Dr. Abdullah who also addressed a gathering marking the International Day of Peace said that Afghanistan’s situation has changed from two decades ago and that Afghans have savored pain and given sacrifices and “now they want a dignified peace,” he said.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh made a vigorous speech in defense of a sovereign, independent and republic Afghanistan. He castigated the Taliban’s regime in 1990s when Afghanistan was under their control. “The Taliban regime relegated Afghanistan to a low stature by destroying its culture and misrepresenting its people internationally. “We don’t remember Taliban having trialed their commanders or officials for violating their laws which they call as sharia,” he said.
Vice President Saleh disparaged the Taliban for their dictatorial rule even now. “Taliban’s content would be revealed in the negotiations, but it wouldn’t have depth and Taliban would melt down while facing questions,” he said.
This is as teams of the Afghan government and Taliban are still negotiating in Doha to iron out differences on issues of contention and start peace talks.
Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh who addressing the gathering hoped that contested issues do not continue to cause delays. “Neither side should impose their views on each other,” he said, adding that a peace plan should not threaten national unity of Afghans.
His statement comes as the Taliban in Qatar are pushing for future talks to be dominated by religious laws of one single sect, raising the prospects of a religious schism in a multi-sect Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan’s peace belongs to everyone and I call on the Taliban to avoid any attempt to disrupt the current unity among Afghans,” said Danesh, warning of unpleasant repercussions if the start of peace negotiations seeks to sow discord and undermine the nation’s achievements and unity.