By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The Afghan government pressing its calls for a truce with the Taliban, reiterating its desire for a long-term ceasefire at historic talks in Qatar.
The two sides are in the early stages of meetings in Doha as they try to hammer out a deal that would bring 19 years of bloodshed.
The head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, suggested that the Taliban could offer a ceasefire in exchange for the release of jailed fighters.
Nader Naderi, a member of the Afghan negotiating team, tweeted yesterday that the joint committee held a meeting on Monday evening.
The meeting discussed in detail working principles and procedures for the contact group for talks and preparations were made for formal discussions.
On the other hand, Taliban’s political office spokesman Dr. Naeem said the working committees discussed the agenda for the meeting which would be held on Tuesday.
Members of the government committee were Zarar Ahmad Muqbil, Maulvi Enayatullah Baleegh, Nader Naderi, Mohammad Nateqi and Fawzia Kofi.
Maulvi Abdul Kabeer, Sher Mohammad Stanikzai, Noorullah Noori, Shahabuddin Dilawar and Maulvi Qasim were members of the Taliban committee.
Meanwhile the presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi tweeted the other day that the presence of government negotiators at the talks “is aimed at achieving a ceasefire, ending the violence and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the country”. The United States struck an agreement with the Taliban in February that will see it withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The deal, which paved the way for the Doha negotiations, did not commit the insurgents to any reduction of violence, only requiring that it be “an item on the agenda” in negotiations. Afghan government delegates warned that negotiations, which take place even as fighting continues in Afghanistan, would be arduous and messy. Nearly two decades since the US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, fighting still kills dozens of people daily and the country’s economy has been shattered, pushing millions into poverty.
Officials said six police were martyred in a Taliban attack in Kunduz at the weekend, while five officers were slain in Kapisa province. A roadside mine blast in the capital also wounded two civilians, while another blast hit Kabul district.