We are not a 'political tool': Afghan women on Taliban talks

World       by Web Desk | Published

Hamid Karzai, the first president of Afghanistan after the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, attended the Moscow meetings, tweeting to say he would "carry a message of peace, unity, sovereignty and progress for all of us; the men, women and children of our beloved country".

In 2018, Tashkent hosted a high-level worldwide conference on Afghanistan titled "Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Interaction" where the participants called for an urgent start of direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement.

Such a meeting between the Taliban and Afghan politicians - including Karzai, who was appointed by the United States - is nearly unheard of.

The Taliban has killed at least 47 people in separate attacks in Afghanistan, as they demanded a new constitution and promised an "inclusive Islamic system" to govern the war-torn country at a rare gathering with senior Afghan politicians in Russian Federation on Tuesday that excluded the Kabul government.

"A more involved role for Moscow has surprised many, mostly due to Russia's bloody history in Afghanistan", said The Soufan Center, a non-profit security analysis group.

Russian Federation is seeking to play a bigger role as peace broker in Afghanistan, ensuring that any post-peace Afghan government includes people close to the Kremlin. Among U.S. demands is a commitment by the Taliban to stop terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State from continuing to use Afghanistan as a base of operations.

Knowing, though, that the United States is bent on withdrawing forces, Pakistan would want to ensure that its own security is not compromised, strengthen ties with the United States and benefit financially, and prevent Indian influence in Afghanistan while enhancing its own.

But the lengthy statement also warned that, "Under the name of women [sic] rights, there has been work for immorality, indecency and circulation of non-Islamic cultures".

"Thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a possible political solution to this long and bloody conflict", Trump said.

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Ghani's government has criticized the gathering as "little more than a political drama" and an attempt by "so-called founders" of the current Afghan democracy "to gain power".

Head of the Taliban delegation, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said the two sides agreed on many points, and chose to continue talks in the future.

"So this is the fist step which will take us to peace, in future we will have more meetings and we can go further".

Ghani also questioned the mechanism of the Moscow Talks and said: "With whom, what will they agree upon there?"

For now, the Taliban is hesitant to sit at the same table with Afghan government officials because the insurgents view such face-to-face talks as giving Ghani concessions ahead of the presidential election this northern summer.

"It is responsibility of all the Afghans to end foreign invasion", Stanekzai said, adding, "War has been imposed on the Afghan nation and the Islamic Emirate as their country has been invaded and the invaders have toppled an Islamic sovereign system".

Like the Taliban, Moscow has been insisting on a pullout of US-led troops from Afghanistan. Peace needs the consensus of all Afghans.

In a separate attack in neighbouring Baghlan province, Taliban militants stormed an isolated check-post of the Afghan local police at 2 a.m. He said Afghanistan wants good relations with all countries but will not allow anyone to interfere in Afghan affairs. "Let hundreds of such meetings be held, but these would only be paper (agreements) unless there is an agreement by the Afghan government; Afghanistan's national assembly and Afghanistan's legal institutions".

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