Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani sets conditions for Taliban talks

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speak during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 12, 2015

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has expressed readiness to attend Pakistan-brokered talks with Taliban on the condition that the militant group give up terrorism.

“It is obvious that there are groups of Taliban, not a unified movement,” President Ghani said on Thursday in Kabul.

“The fundamental issue here is the choice: choose peace or terrorism,” he added. “There will be no tolerance for terrorism.”

The president also emphasized that renouncing violence and terror activities have been a major condition for talks with the Taliban.

The remarks come as officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States are due to meet in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Jan. 11 in an attempt to revive a stalled peace process. The planned talks will be followed by another meeting in Kabul.

Pakistan hosted a first round of peace talks between Taliban and Afghan leaders in July. The talks were halted after the militants belatedly announced the death of their longtime leader Mullah Omar.

There have also been growing differences among Taliban elements over peace talks with the Afghan government, with some vowing to fight for power instead of taking part in negotiations.

The legitimacy of Omar’s former deputy Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who assumed the leadership in July, has been rejected by some Taliban factions. The rival factions have accused Mansour of being beholden to Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The Taliban have been operating in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been tense in recent years over the ongoing militancy. Senior Afghan officials had frequently blamed elements inside the ISI for harboring the Taliban and sponsoring the militancy, while Islamabad blames the Afghan government for giving shelter to the militants on its side of the border.

However, President Ghani has recently moved to strengthen ties with Pakistan – Taliban’s historic backers.

In early December, senior Afghan and Pakistani officials agreed during a meeting in Islamabad to stop accusing each other over Taliban-led violence that has been plaguing both countries.

Single Column Posts

1 min read

Afghanistan’s former president argued Tuesday that Washington helped fuel corruption in his nation by spending hundreds of millions of dollars over the past two decades...

1 min read

On Monday, the Washington Post published what it calls a “secret history” of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, comprising 2,000 pages of interviews with senior...

1 min read

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates discussed a planned refinery in the western Indian state of Maharashtra that will cost at least $70 billion,...

2 min read

Google had warned at least 500 Indians about "government-backed" phishing attacks against them between July and September this year, the technology giant said in a...

3 min read

On Thanksgiving eve, President Donald Trump slipped unnoticed out of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on his way to a bare-bones military plane with just...

3 min read

Both New Delhi and Kathmandu lay claim to a region, known as Kalapani, as part of their countries' territory. India's new political map has stirred...

1 min read

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governing party has suffered a big setback in western Maharashtra state after its longtime ally broke away and joined two...

1 min read

The spokesperson was responding to a question as to why Secretary General Antonio Guterres is reluctant to take on the issue of India and Pakistan....

1 min read

The U.S. Navy dismissed charges on August 6 against four SEALs accused of abusing detainees in Afghanistan seven years ago, AP reported. The four SEALs...

1 min read

A leading Afghan presidential candidate suspended his campaign Thursday, casting increasing doubt that the elections will be held as scheduled on Sept. 28. Mohammad Hanif...