By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: As talks are underway in Doha, Afghan negotiating team spokesman Nader Nadery says that both sides agreed on internal principles and few more points left to be addressed.
He told media through an audio clip that during a meeting with the Taliban on Wednesday almost 90 percent progress was made on the internal principles, rules and regulation of future meetings. Nadery said they were discussing technical matters for future talks and there was need for being patient and more attentive instead of stressing over acceleration.
Meanwhile Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Thursday said that the talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban will be difficult, stating that the Afghan team will face issues that will require hard decisions to be made.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Dr. Abdullah said Afghanistan’s future would include one that can sustain itself and one that leads to durable peace and stability.
As intra-Afghan negotiations continue, between the Afghan negotiating team and the Taliban, Dr. Abdullah said both sides need to come to a shared agreement on how to move forward.
“Both sides should see the need and come to the realization that we must put people first,” he said and on whether the country’s future was a Republic or an Emirate system, he stated it would come “down to the will of the people”.
However, he said it was important that the will of the people should be exercised in a freeway “one person, one vote is important.”
Asked about the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s constitution, and any possible changes to it, he said there were provisions incorporated in the guiding document which allowed for changes to be made. He said the provisions were designed for the interests of the country to get the people in the country together in a unified manner but a change to the constitution was not impossible.
Should a peace deal be sealed and structural changes be needed, he stated: “The country needs national institutions, national army, national police or any other security sector.”
Dr. Abdullah said that one aspect of the hard work that lay ahead of the peace talks teams was how to integrate the Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters.
“The blueprint has to be decided by both sides”, and there shouldn’t be preconditions attached to it, he said. Adding his voice to countless of other officials, both local and foreign, Abdullah said a reduction in violence was critical at this point so that the process could move towards a ceasefire.
“When I talk about casualties, it’s not just on one side. It’s on both sides,” he said adding that this was unfortunate and a “burden on the next generation.” He said there is no winner in a war and no loser in an inclusive, peaceful settlement.
“While they are not recognizing us [Afghan government] or we don’t recognize them as the Islamic Emirate, but we recognize the need to get together, to sit together, to present our views which are different from one another – but to find ways how to reconcile those differences, how to find ways to live together while still maintaining some differences and fighting for it politically rather than through violence.”
He said there could be groups within the Taliban that want to continue with the talks and also to continue with the fighting but that he assumes there are others that are “thinking much more maturely” – based on experience.
He said the fact that the United States is looking at Afghanistan reaching a peace deal “with urgency” was a “bonus. It’s a plus.”
But for the Afghan negotiating team, the “ticking clock,” the urgency was more about stopping the suffering of the Afghan people.
“A unified Islamic Republic will be in a much better position to negotiate … and represent the views of the people”.
“The continuation of the war and suffering, endless, in an endless way, will not put anybody in a dignified position and it’s not a service to the people,” he said.