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Hope for peace; Informal contacts with Taliban underway: Khalili

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Informal contacts have been established with the Taliban insurgents amid at paving ground for peace talks with the group—a terrorist outfit that has been involved in several deadly attacks across the country.

Despite the confirmation of indirect contacts, the High Peace Council (HPC) officials have not met any representatives of the Taliban group so far.

Head of High Peace Council (HPC), Mohammad Karim Khalili has confirmed informal contacts that have been underway with the Taliban group to open up new ways to reach peace talks.

Speaking at the 2nd National Conference for National Consensus Building, Khalili said his office in coordination with the government have been striving hard to pave ground for negotiations with the terrorist group.

“At the moment there is a very suitable atmosphere shaped at domestic and international level for peace talks,” he said, putting the environment to a hopeful phase.

He furthered the government has been supporting peace talks, measuring it as a basic roadmap in order to end the armed conflict across the country.

Let’s kick off a national campaign for peace across the country, Khalili called on youth and women to support HPC in its efforts for peace. “We all need it, we are striving for it,” Khalili said, referring to peace talks with the Taliban insurgents.

He also informed of a national, regional and international consensus over peace talks with the terrorist group.

But there is also frustration as the Taliban insurgents has not responded positively over peace talks with the government. The denial now has been turning into a decades.

“Unfortunately, the Taliban insurgents have not responded positively to the voices of the nation for reaching peace,” HPC Secretary, Mohammad Akram Khpelwak said.

Here is highly hope for peace to be maintained, he said, adding still not achieved nation’s aspiration over peace.

However, he showed commitment of the government for not taking part in those negotiations which is time wasted only with no result in sight. He stressed over a real and inter-Afghan peace talks. “We call upon the Taliban to be ready for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,” he said, adding that the Taliban should put their suggestions on the government table for its logic solutions.

According to him, the Afghan government received backing of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for Afghan-owned peace talks. “It was reiterated during UNSC’s members’ recent visit to Kabul.”

There is no pre-condition for peace talks with the Taliban,” he said, while hinted toward having peace talks to be held anywhere the Taliban wish for. But he emphasized that the government is devoted to the Afghan-owned peace negotiations.

We will go for everyone’s consultation over peace talks with the terrorist group. “Ulema’s support is remarkable.”

He also hoped that youth and women have also come up to the fore with rising supportive voices over this national process.

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