President Ashraf Ghani’s government is the “only hurdle” for the peace process, Taliban says, blaming President Ghani for prolonging the process and unwilling to hand power to another government for the sake of peace
KABUL: A key negotiator of the Taliban on Friday termed President Ashraf Ghani’s government in Kabul the only hurdle for the Afghan peace process, seeking a new government to help bring peace.
Abbas Stanikzai, Chief of the Taliban negotiator, who is in Moscow, said in a press briefing that if President Ghani ‘resigns’, and let the new government come to power, they are ready to agree on ceasefire and peace.
“Today, if Ashraf Ghani declared to stop the war and says he is resigning and giving sacrifice for the peace, we are ready to negotiate for the new government, something we are doing today,” he said.
According to him, a “New Islamic Government” would be formed under the Doha agreement, and the decision would be up to the Afghans.
With the formation of the “New Islamic Government”, the government led by Ashraf Ghani will come to an “end”, Stanikzai claimed.
He blamed the current government for making hurdles in the path to the peace in a bid to extend its term of office.
In response to a question if the end of Ashraf Ghani’s rule had been discussed in Doha, the Taliban delegation said that they were discussing this with the Afghan government’s negotiating team for a new government on a daily basis.
According to Stanikzai, no authority has been given to the Afghan negotiating team and also military stings against the Taliban have been intensified.
The government has so far not responded to Stanikzai’s allegations, but recently President Ghani said he is obligated to hand over the power to his successor based on people’s will.
He also reacted sharply over the forming of an interim-government or stepping down from power.
This comes a day after the Pentagon said that the Biden administration would not commit to a full drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan by May because the Taliban have not honored the commitments they made in their agreement with the United States signed in Doha last year in February.
“The Taliban have not met their commitments,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in his first press conference on Thursday. “Without them meeting their commitments to renounce terrorism and to stop the violent attacks on the Afghan national security forces, and by dint of that the Afghan people, it’s very hard to see a specific way forward for the negotiated settlement.”
Referring to the Pentagon’s statement, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said that they are “fully committed to all clauses of the Doha agreement and they are implementing their own part.
“The implementation of the Doha agreement is the only solution to the ongoing conflict,” he said. “We also urge the United States to fully adhere to the agreement.”