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HPC rebukes Taliban’s precondition ahead of any possible talks

AT-KABUL: The High Peace Council refuses Taliban’s demands for holding peace talks as preconditions that would “make trouble” ahead of the dialogues.

Mohammad Ismael Qasemyar, an official of the council said Monday that no condition should be offered before the talks, asking the government to contemplate this.

“The principle we have so far followed is that we should hold peace talks without any conditions and the conditions could be offered on the table. For example, if there is a condition to free Taliban prisoners, this should be presented during the talks,” said Qasemyar.

Western media had earlier reported that Taliban had some conditions including the release of Anas Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of Haqqani terrorist network and some other of their colleagues held in government custody.

The report was rejected by Taliban as “far from reality”.

The peace council says it is in contact with the Taliban officials through different channels, but called their preconditions “unacceptable”. Withdrawal of the US and other NATO-member troops from Afghanistan, release of inmates and having part in the political power were the matters regularly offered by Taliban to the government, according to Qasemyar.

However, Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid denied the preconditions from the group for the peace talks as “rumors”.

“If a person has problems with the people, neither the government nor Taliban can help that, but the government can investigate crimes and the president can make decision over that or ignore that to encourage the other side for talks,” said Abdul Sobhan Mesbah, a lawyer.

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