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Don’t be afraid, you won’t be wiped out; Taliban told

AT News

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani called on the Taliban not to be afraid of a ceasefire, a prerequisite to what the Kabul administration deem it important for trust building measures that gives confidence to the success of the peace talks.

“Don’t be afraid of a ceasefire, nobody is going to wipe you out,” President Ghani told the Taliban while speaking at the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Qatari capital Doha.

Ghani called on the Taliban to “have confidence; have the courage to engage other Afghans.”

“In the weeks, in the days to come, we have to have the courage to declare a national ceasefire so that we can proceed to make peace politically, not under the barrel of the guns,” Ghani said.

“We have died enough, we must live, we must embrace living, and in order to embrace living, we must have the discipline of building a future together, a future that every Afghan can identify with,” Ghani said.

“They must have the courage to accept that the people of Afghanistan will make the ultimate decision about their future,” Ghani said.

“This is the first negotiating team that is not going to be micromanaged, we trust them,” Ghani said, referring to the Afghan peace team who are currently in Doha, scrambling to find come grounds with the Taliban negotiating members to start the intra-Afghan talks.

The Kabul and Taliban delegations are still wrangling over ground rules – it has been nearly one month since the opening ceremony of intra-Afghan talks, but they have failed to iron out differences on the rules and regulations. The sticky points are over the US-Taliban deal signed on 29 February that facilitated the start of intra-Afghan talks. The Taliban are taking this deal as sole means to carry the talks while the Kabul peace team says they were not part of the deal.

The main source of contentions still persists, and the US point-man for peace, Zalmay Khalilzad warned that Afghanistan could become another Syria if the peace process fails.

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