The Taliban have told the BBC that if US President Donald Trump wants to resume peace talks in the future, his “gates are open.”
In an exclusive interview to the BBC, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Taliban’s main negotiator, emphasized that talks were the “only path to peace in Afghanistan.”
The statement by Abbas Stanikzai comes a week after President Trump’s talks were canceled.
Earlier this month, the two sides reached an agreement to resolve the 18-year-old conflict, even after President Trump invited senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to meet at Camp David on September 8.
But after an attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul September 11 that killed 11 other people, including an American soldier, President Trump canceled talks, saying the Taliban could not hold a ceasefire during talks. So ‘they may not have the potential to be meaningful contracts’.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement condemning the recent Taliban attacks, saying the Taliban must “demonstrate a genuine commitment to peace.”
Stanikzai, speaking to the BBC, dismissed US concerns. He said the Taliban had done nothing wrong.
Talking to BBC correspondent Liz Dossett, he said, “They have killed thousands of Taliban but if a US soldier is killed, it does not mean that they will react. There was no ceasefire from both sides. ‘
He added that ‘our doors are open for dialogue’ and we hope the other party will revise its decision on the talks.
What was included in the agreement?
The full and exact details of this agreement could not be ascertained. However, Washington negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad revealed some details of the deal in a telephonic interview September 3.
Accordingly, the withdrawal of 5400 US troops in 20 weeks was essentially part of the deal.
In return for the troops’ withdrawal, the Taliban were willing to make a promise that Afghanistan would never be used as a foreign terror base.
Stanikzai told the BBC that if the agreement had been signed, a ceasefire between the Taliban and foreign troops would have been in place.
However, he said that no such ceasefire would exist between the Taliban and the Afghan government forces.
The Taliban now occupy more territory than in 2001 and do not recognize President Ashraf Ghani’s administration. The Taliban refused to talk directly with the Afghan government, saying that unless the US agreed to an agreement.
Stankzai said negotiations between the Afghans would begin on September 23 if the agreement was reached, and a wider ceasefire was also part of the talks.
He also confirmed that the Taliban have contacted both Russia and China to seek assistance in negotiations.
On the other hand, the Afghan National Security Advisor said that the Taliban’s “threatening tactics” would not succeed.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Hamidullah Mohib said that “the only way to bring peace to Afghanistan is through dialogue with the Afghan government.”
They also said, ‘Open dialogue with our neighboring countries who are patronizing and supporting the Taliban. It should be the first of our conversations, not the end. ‘
What is the law and order situation in Afghanistan?
According to the BBC’s figures, in the month of August, an average of 74 people were killed daily in the country.
The attacks are ongoing without any agreement. At least 48 people were killed in two suicide attacks on Tuesday. According to medical staff, the election rally targeted by the suicide bomber also killed the children.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for both attacks.
However, when asked about civilian casualties, Stanekzai accused foreign troops of pointing to UN data, saying that in the first few months of 2019, more civilian casualties were in the attacks of Afghan and US forces. ہوئیں۔
He also defended the Taliban’s asylum in the homes of ordinary people and refused to speak of the direct attacks on the Taliban that killed ordinary men, women and children.