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No one can arbitrarily represent Afghans, govt in peace talks, says Sayyaf

AT-KABUL: Following a two-day talks between an Afghan delegation—not confirmed by the government yet —and a number of the Taliban representatives in Qatar, former Jihadi leader, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, on Monday said the government should not allow any country to arrange meetings and scorn matters that are highly important for the nation.

Qatar hosted a two-day research conference titled ‘Afghan dialogue’ in Doha on May 2-3 organized by Pugwash Council, a Canadian-based international organization that brings together scholars and public figures to work against armed conflicts and seek solutions to global security threats.

An eight-member Taliban delegation participated in the conference and sat together with Afghan officials and politicians.

Sayyaf said in a statement on Monday that no group has the right to represent the people and the government of Afghanistan on their own behalf. “The ongoing war has been imposed on us. Its continuation is not in favor of anybody. Peace is the only solution and in interest of the nation, the region and the world,” he said.

He added that the only group that has the authority to represent Afghans and Afghanistan is the one selected by the government—after discussion with representatives of people.

He also said: “We will roll up our sleeves for defense of our country and our religion against these slaves and their masters. Our stance should not be considered and viewed as anti-peace.”

He called on the government not to allow any group or country to represent and ridicule matters of national interest and the issues that are highly important for the nation.

In the meantime, the President’s spokesman, Ajmal Obaid Abidi, has said that those invited to the conference in Doha did not represent the Afghan government. He said the government will let the public to know about any improvement about peace talks with the Taliban militants.

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