KABUL: Although there is seemingly a fledgling agreement between the Taliban and the United States for a reduction in violence, the Taliban group believes that Americans’ new ‘gratuitous’ demands are a ‘waste of time’ and could compound negotiations ahead of a long-awaited peace deal.
The Taliban in its official website announced that special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had made fresh demands, but didn’t divulge any details.
The statement, however, runs contrary to the Taliban spokesman’s remarks in Doha. Suhail Shaheen had told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper that they are nearing a peace agreement with Americans – which would be struck by January end.
“Americans seemingly have changed their demands,” according to journalist Sami Yousafzai. “The U.S. is claiming to be pursuing lasting cease-fire or reduction in violence and striking a ‘conditional’ deal for the withdrawal of American troops. But the Taliban seem to be disgruntled at the fact that they would have to engage and strike an agreement with Kabul to make sure last decades progress will not vanish”.
To the Taliban’s chagrin, the Afghan government has repetitively repudiated the belligerents’ plan to reduce violence and conditioned its future talks on observation of a comprehensive ceasefire.
The Taliban’s plan has also received a flurry of criticism from Amnesty International which called it ridiculous and bereft of any meaning.
Deputy Regional Director for South Asia at Amnesty International, Omar Waraich, said, “In a conflict marked by attacks on civilians, the term ‘violence reduction’ is an absurdity. There can be no acceptable level of violence”.