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MPs disgruntled over gov’t for hiding Taliban secret talks

AT-KABUL: The members of parliament say that the government had not informed them of its “secret” talks with the Taliban representatives, urging that the people and their representatives should be aware of every secret and public talks and every move towards peace.

Erfanollah Erfan, second deputy speaker of the parliament, said Tuesday that they (parliamentarians) support talks between government and Taliban, but added that legislators should be informed of such talks.

“We strongly support the peace talks either held in public or secret, but unfortunately, the government has not shared its talks with Taliban with the members of parliament. This is government’s responsibility to consult with the people’s representatives and take their advices regarding the big national programs and basic lines,” said Erfan.

The comments come after a NATO official in Afghanistan revealed the secret talks between government and Taliban representatives, saying that NATO would welcome the dialogues.

Prior to that, the US forces’ commander in Afghanistan, John Nicholson had said that secret talks between government of Afghanistan and Taliban were underway.

Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also announced support of the talks.But Taliban spokesman denied any talks with the government.

Political analyst, ShahzadaMassoud, believes that ceasefire between government and Taliban proves that there were some secret talks.

“As the two sides announced ceasefire, seems that there is something behind the scene. Any talks should be held at the framework of the national interest, the peace talks should be public and the people of Afghanistan should be informed,” said Massoud.

Separately, a source at the High Peace Council confirmed on condition of anonymity that representatives from government and Taliban held meetings in Qatar.

The government is yet to comment, and the peace council spokesman, SayedEhsanTaheri, said that no formal and direct talks were held, but there were contacts through influential people and tribal elders.

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