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Taliban equivocating on the issue of violence reduction; Afghan negotiator

We are at odds with Taliban over ceasefire

AT News

KABUL: Afghan peace delegation in Qatar says the resumed negotiations on a roadmap for peace talks have hit roadblock as the Taliban have been straddling the fence about ceasefire talks by floating inconsequential controversial issues.

Negotiations for rules and regulations of future peace talks hit snag once again after contact groups of the both sides failed to negotiate a deal at Sunday’s meeting, Nader Naderi, a member and spokesman for the Afghan delegation told reporters in Doha on Monday.

The Taliban have forsaken dialogue on ceasefire by raising two controversial issues in the preliminary process of negotiations. Naderi contended that talks on reduction of violence and a ceasefire would be held soon after an understanding is reached on current disagreements.

“All our efforts are to end the debate on these two issues. We are still holding meetings on this today. Our commitment is to find a common solution. The main concern for Afghans is ceasefire, to reduce the violence, end the war and end the bloodshed,” he said.

The Taliban negotiating team’s demand of the Afghan delegation is that the basis for peace talks should be the group’s peace agreement with the United States, and that Hanafi jurisprudence should be invoked in the event of a dispute – something the Afghan delegation is not relenting to.

Taliban officials in Qatar have warned that peace negotiations will reach a stalemate if the other side does not accept the group’s agreement with the United States as the basis for negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan says that in peace talks both sides should give priority to ceasefire. Mir Rahman Rahmani, speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, told Monday’s plenary session that the Taliban delegation and the Afghan government should resolve their differences as soon as possible. “Doha peace talks should be concluded at the earliest, ceasefire declared and war ended,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Afghans were edging towards the end of the war as peace talks continue. In an article sent to Washington, Mr. Khan wrote that peace and stability in Afghanistan would not be achieved by the force of foreigners but by dialogue between Afghans themselves.

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