Taliban not seeking to seize whole of Afghanistan

Posted February 09, 2019

Karzai, speaking on the non-inclusion of Afghan government in the talks, said he wants the talks to be inclusive in which the representatives of the Kabul government also take part.

"There was unanimity of views among all participants that the war was not the solution and we should resolve our problems through intra-Afghan dialogue", said former vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni.

Their appeal comes as the Taliban meets with a high-ranking Afghan delegation in Moscow, and a week after the insurgents held unprecedented talks with United States negotiators.

Moscow had hosted a multilateral summit on Afghanistan last November, inviting officials from regional countries, besides a Taliban delegation.

While the Taliban have been leaking apparent details of negotiations with the U.S., the State Department and White House have dismissed several claims made by the group regarding the recent talks. It would be a huge challenge for Washington to ensure that the Ghani government, which USA forces have so far tried to support and is deemed as the legitimate government by the global community, is an important stakeholder in the ensuing peace process.

"Great nations do not fight endless wars", Trump said in his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday.

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"The Taliban said they are ready to sever ties with al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and this is a good development", Ghani said.

Ayubi says 12 troops were also wounded and that the Taliban onslaught at the base on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, lasted for over two hours.

The extraordinary gathering in Moscow was the Taliban's most significant with Afghan politicians in years, and concluded with both sides agreeing to future talks and ensuring a "durable and dignified peace" for the people of Afghanistan.

But Pakistan "has avoided taking any concrete or irreversible steps such as arresting or expelling Taliban leaders who do not cooperate with reconciliation efforts", he said.

Taliban is making "nice statements" in Moscow but back home schools for girls are closed in majority of Taliban-controlled areas Fawzia Koofi, a member of Afghan parliament and one of the two women participating in ongoing "inter-Afghan" talks in Moscow, told TRT World.

Nur said the talks, which stretched into late evening on Tuesday, will continue on Wednesday and possibly even on Thursday.

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The Kremlin hosted another Taliban meeting in November previous year which brought to the negotiating table representatives of the insurgent group as well as members of the Afghan peace council - a body created by the Afghan government to facilitate peace talks.

The meeting brings together Taliban representatives and Afghan figures including former President Hamid Karzai, opposition leaders and tribal elders - but not Kabul government officials.

Another important factor that Kakar ignores is Trump's signature "America First" foreign policy, as he writes that "It appears the U.S. is presently only concerned about itself, rather than the people of Afghanistan and other states which have a stake in the country".

The Taliban do not want to seize the entire Afghanistan by "military" power as it will not bring peace to the war-torn country, the militant group's key official who led the peace negotiations with the United States has said.

One outcome of reduced US leverage is a greater role for Moscow, which has worked behind the scenes to solidify influence in Afghanistan. Today, we have a meeting in Moscow which ostensibly undermines the US-backed regime in Kabul. He has held several meetings with the Taliban. The Taliban killed at least 47 security forces and policemen in separate attacks in the northern Kunduz, Baghlan and Samangan provinces over the past two days.

If you read the first paragraph of the Taliban's Moscow statement & think Taliban 2.0 is softer & cuddlier, read on.

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