The Afghan Taliban on Saturday dismissed as an ‘attempt to divide the militia’ an offer from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States for a ‘safe passage’ those Taliban who are willing to talk peace.
The agreement on giving ‘reconcilable Taliban’ a ‘safe passage’ for the purpose of talks was reached at a meeting of the Pak-Afghan-US Core Group, which met in Islamabad on Friday.
“The enemy is trying to create schisms in our ranks. They will fail the way their strategies over the past 10 years. This committee reflects weaknesses, frustration and state of panic of the inimical forces,” said a Pashtu-language statement sent to The Express Tribune by Taliban. The statement termed the Core Group ‘so-called body’ and condemned its ‘discordant and ominous efforts’.
“Such kind of efforts by the United States has raised questions about its efforts to reach understanding with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” it said referring to the stalled ‘exploratory talks’ in the Gulf state of Qatar.
“The United States, instead of realising ground realities, is pursuing dirty tactics. This will harm the US efforts which, they say, are aimed at creating an understanding with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the Taliban statement said. The Afghan foreign ministry spokesman has said that the Karzai administration has sought (from Pakistan) protection for the Taliban cadres who are outside Afghanistan and are willing to hold dialogue with the Afghan government.
“We want that such Taliban leaders should not feel threats to their lives and harassment of their families,” Janan Musazai told The Express Tribune on Thursday.
The Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, rejected the possibility of direct talks with the Afghan government. “There is no change in our policy. We will not hold any talks with the Afghan government,” Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune by phone from Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.