KABUL: The Afghan government has labelled its first face-to-face talks with the Taliban “successful”, citing how the two sides expressed their desire for peace in the strife-torn country.
“Every topic can be discussed including the constitution. However, this should be a part of a process targeted to end bloodshed and war in Afghanistan,” Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai was cited by BBC Urdu as saying in Kabul upon his return from the negotiations in Murree on Thursday.
He said the Afghan government is ready to discuss any topic and has not set any preconditions. “We are ready to discuss everything they want to take up, be it the issue of the prisoners or the matter of return of the foreigners [foreign forces].”
The Afghan deputy foreign minister said the country’s charter can also be amended, except for two chapters. He said there is a strong possibility that this matter can be discussed in the next round of talks.
Hekmat Khalil Karzai pointed out that what makes these talks different is that the teams of both sides enjoy official status. “My understanding is that the team we had talks with consisted of representatives sent by the Taliban leaders.”
Hekmat Karzai also said that another important thing about these talks was that it seemed the Taliban team was also representing the Haqqani Network an affiliate of the militia.
However, he said, there was no headway on the ceasefire.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.