Afghan Taliban deny holding new talks with US

By AFP
Published: April 29, 2012

Taliban always dismiss the idea of talks with Afghan government, describing it as a puppet of US. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents on Sunday denied that they had resumed talks with the United States, while the Afghan government insisted that the peace process was “on track”.

The Taliban, who last month broke off contacts with the US in Qatar, said they would not resume talks “until the Americans take constructive steps and fulfil promises which were agreed upon for confidence building”.

Among the confidence building measures proposed is the release of five Taliban leaders held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The statement, posted on the Taliban website, came just days after the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed at a meeting in Islamabad to look at ways to provide safe passage to Taliban who are willing to join the peace process.

That move was also rejected by the hardline insurgents, who said it was aimed at facilitating militants “kowtowing to US demands in the name of supposed reconciliation talks”.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, hereby, strongly denounces such foul and horrendous rift-creating attempts,” the Taliban said in a separate statement by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

But in Kabul on Sunday, the Afghan government said progress was being made in efforts to negotiate an end to the decade-long war.

“The peace process is still on track with the Taliban and also efforts are underway by the Afghan government for setting up a Taliban address in the Gulf state of Qatar,” foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai told a news conference.

The Taliban, however, have always dismissed the idea of talks with the Afghan government, describing it as a puppet of the Americans.

For its part, Washington has consistently said that any talks with the Taliban to end the war could only take place with the agreement of the Afghan government, which eventually should lead the process.

Mosazai said the idea of safe passage aimed to provide “a guarantee to Taliban leaders and officials to safely approach the Afghan government or to travel from one country to another country to engage in direct negotiations with the Afghan government”.

Senior Taliban leaders operate from bases within neighbouring Pakistan, which the Afghan government accuses of supporting the militants.

Reader Comments (4)

  • ather khan
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:37PM

    “Senior Taliban leaders operate from bases within neighbouring Pakistan, which the Afghan government accuses of supporting the militants.”
    et are you a pakistani newspaper or americans?? you also accused pakistan without any established proofs. shame on the media.Recommend

  • Checkmate
    Apr 29, 2012 - 10:49PM

    My dear friends! Job of the media is to just report the facts and this is called news whether you like it or not.

    Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 29, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Afghanistan is Afghanistan and not an Islamic emirat . Only a secular Afghanistan can sustain .Religion should not play any role in the state policy in the new Afghanistan .

    Recommend

  • Hangi
    Apr 29, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @ather khan:
    ET is not Pakistani, works for anti Pak elements, it posts even positive news in negative ways.

    Recommend

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