The US settles for a truce with the Taliban

Karachi- The Afghan Taliban maintains that their “all demands” have been fulfilled in the recently signed peace agreement with the US to finfish the two-decades war in Afghanistan.
However, the intra-afghan dialogue can be a “challenging” task, says the Taliban group.
“There is no such condition [in the agreement] that the Taliban have to negotiate only with the Afghan government. However, yes, it has been agreed that there would be an intra-Afghan dialogue. And this will be a difficult task, which the Taliban have to face,” said one of the Taliban negotiators Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef.
Zaeef held that the frail Kabul regime, apart from the Taliban, might face issues to tackle the situation.
He said “The Taliban have negotiated [with the U.S] under the banner of (its) Islamic emirate. We have not withdrawn from our emirate [government]. If we stick to our emirate, that means we do not accept the existence of any other government [in Afghanistan],” he said adding, “[However], this issue can be resolved through intra-Afghan dialogue” while giving an interview to the Urdu news website.
He said “In my view, the solution to this dispute is to deliberate upon a national mechanism in Afghanistan, instead of recognizing [or rejecting] each other,”, while referring to the inclusion of the Afghan government in the next phase of talks.
The Taliban have opposed the inclusion of the Kabul regime in negotiations saying it a “puppet government”.
Zaeef stated it is the main concern of Washington that Afghanistan’s’ land and the soil are meant for afghans only and it should not be used against it. he maintained “Afghans want the same. No one will meddle in our internal matters. Afghanistan will not be used against any neighbor or others. We see Afghanistan’s betterment in that [policy],”.
He said “In the past, it had happened but in future Afghanistan must be only for Afghans” while referring to terrorist attacks from the Afghan region to other parts of the world.
The former Taliban negotiator denied the idea that the Taliban leadership and fighter are not on the same page related to the peace accord, saying, and “There is a complete harmony within the Taliban ranks”.
Zaeef said “There are no hard conditions for the Taliban, except for the one that the Afghan issue is resolved through political dialogue. The Taliban have deliberated over this”, related to the validity of peace agreement.
Responding to a question, he said that the United States wanted to inflict “its conditions” upon us, yet “we did not accept them”. The Taliban negotiator did not mention the conditions of the pact.
He said the US had to agree for full withdrawal of armed forces in the next year, “which is a good thing”.
He further said, “The Taliban did not want to repeat the civil-war like situation”.
Zaeef said, “First, if this is not in the U.S jurisdiction, then how come it accepts this demand? Secondly, the U.S. had argued the same in the case of Anas Haqqani [a senior Taliban leader], who too was in the Afghan government’s custody. But, eventually, he was released”, while referring to the release of prisoners held in detention by Kabul government and the USA.
He added, “There are some 40,000 prisoners in Afghanistan, of them, around two-thirds have been arrested by the American forces. If America thinks, this issue is related to the Afghan government then why it indulged in this process. If they can arrest people then they have a right to release them as well”.
While referring to the imposition of Taliban’s style shariah he stated, “Human being is bound to commit mistakes. But the wiser is one who accepts his mistake, and desists from repeating them”.
“In my opinion, the difference between the inception of the Taliban movement, and today, is that there is a change in the Taliban’s understanding [of the world], diplomacy, and experience. Now, the Taliban’s understanding, diplomacy, and experience are of international nature. In my opinion, it will turn out to be very positive”, said Zaeef.
When asked about why the Taliban opted for a peace deal, he accounted that the US invasion in 2001 was not Afghanistan’s choice, “It was imposed on Afghanistan. I do not admit that the Taliban have surrendered [by striking peace deal] but it is America that has surrendered”.
Until 2006, it was a dream of Washington that they were winning the war in Afghanistan, yet they realized later that they were challenged by huge “resistance” in the region.
Zaeef articulated, “There was new thinking developed in the world in 2008 onward that Afghanistan could not be handled through the use of force. Saudi Arab, UAE, Pakistan, and Indonesia were assigned to play a role but the Taliban did not accept the process in that way the U.S. wanted”.
“So it was a change in the U.S thinking rather than the Taliban,” he said while wrapping up the discussion.–Worldwide News

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