Top Afghan peace broker tells international peace conference in Doha that Taliban is committing ‘grim crimes’
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – The world must not remain silent on Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, and must send a clear message to the Taliban to end the violence, Afghanistan’s top peace broker said on Tuesday as a three-day international conference began in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Charging the Taliban with committing “grim crimes,” the chairman of high peace council in Afghanistan further stressed that hundreds of thousands of Afghans have been displaced, thousands killed, and thousands wounded amid Taliban advances.
“A few days ago, here in Doha, we talked for 48 hours with the representatives of the Taliban and agreed to speed up the negotiations and the political solution of the issue with the presence of a mediator, but on the contrary, the Taliban violated this commitment, intensifying war and violence, and launched offensive attacks on cities,” Abdullah Abdullah told the meeting, attended by representatives of the UN, EU, US, Britain, Russia, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Qatar.
There was no immediate response from the Taliban as it claimed to have captured the western city of Farah, the ninth provincial capital to partially or fully fall to the insurgents.
Abdullah said the Taliban had emphasized building trust and releasing their prisoners, but previous prisoner releases had not helped the peace process or stop hostilities.
“Thousands of terrorists, along with the constant presence of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, from Jaish-e-Muhammad to Lashkar-e-Taiba, have entered Afghanistan and are fighting against our people,” he said.
Last month the latest round of rejuvenated intra-Afghan negotiations failed to deliver a breakthrough, with the Afghan government and the Taliban only vowing via a joint statement to continue to expedite high-level peace talks in Doha.
A joint statement issued after two days of talks said the two sides also vowed to safeguard civilian lives, infrastructure, and delivery of services in the war-ravaged country.
Both sides “realize the need of an agreement that can address the interests and demands of all women and men of Afghanistan in light of Islamic principles. They are determined to stay engaged in negotiations at a high level to reach such an agreement, and to reach this aim continue such meetings,” said the joint statement.
Minutes after the joint statement, Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem categorically rejected any agreement for a cease-fire or release of prisoners.
Sources in the Afghan government’s peace delegation told Anadolu Agency that the Taliban had floated the idea of an extended cease-fire provided up to 7,000 more of their captives are freed by the Afghan government. They also want their leaders removed from UN sanctions lists, the sources added.