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Karzai says he supports peace efforts

AT-KABUL: Former President, Hamid Karzai has said he welcomes and supports the new efforts regarding the peace process in Afghanistan.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Karzai has also welcomed the joining of five Taliban members who had been freed from the Guantanamo prison to the group’s political office in Qatar, calling them “good people”. He has said Taliban could play role in the country’s future, adding that he was happy Taliban and US officials held talks.

“Most of those (Taliban members released from Guantanamo) whom I know are good people and I hope their joining be good news for Afghanistan’s peace and we will work with them,” Karzai has said.

Five Taliban members Mullah Mohammad Fazel, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwah, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq and Maulavi Mohammad Nabi Omari, how were freed from the US captivity in a prisoner swap with the US soldier Bowe Bergdhal in 2015, have recently joined the group’s Doha office to more discuss the government’s peace offer with their colleagues.

Simultaneously, Taliban’s second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was freed from Pakistan jail after being held for seven years. He was reportedly released after Taliban negotiators met with the US diplomat and envoy for Afghan peace Zalmai Khalilzad in October, who had demanded Islamabad to free Baradar just after the talks.

“Now the US has started fresh efforts for the Afghan peace and we welcome these efforts. I hope these efforts be real and will succeed, but there should be clarification. We want peace and Afghan national sovereignty and we never accept any foreign country’s deals on Afghanistan,” the then president has said.

The government of Afghanistan has repeatedly said it would support Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks, an announcement supported by the international community.

But the US is apparently holding the peace efforts with their diplomats sitting with the Taliban representatives behind table.

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