Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Taliban dismiss Afghanistan’s peace talks offer

Taliban dismiss Afghanistan’s peace talks offer

Afghanistan's presidential election will be postponed until July 20, an official said Sunday, as US-led efforts to end the 17-year war with the Taliban gather steam.

The Ashraf Ghani government had struck the bilateral security agreement with the United States in 2014 that allows longer stay of the American forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has come out in full support of Kabul's offer to the Taliban of a ceasefire and official recognition as a legitimate political power.

Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, Lower House of Parliament, who is also member of the High Advisory Board for Peace, said the Afghan government has been "sidelined" from the peace talks.

"Our opposition is with the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan".

Saudi officials had participated in the talks between the Americans and the Taliban in Abu Dhabi on Dec 17-18, months after Saudi Arabia organized an global conference of the religious scholars, who had urged the Taliban to accept President Ghani's dialogue offer and hold direct negotiations. "Once they are out and a peace deal is reached, then a nationwide amnesty will be announced", said Mujahid.

According to the report, the US forces and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have carried out around 550 airstrikes against the Taliban targets with the span of two months.

"I don't think their mindset has changed, but they have realized that without respecting human rights, they can not be accepted by the worldwide community", Bilal Sediqi, a spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, told Reuters.

"I know there is no place for me if the Taliban return in their old style", said Abdul, a 12-year police veteran now working in the western province of Farah. "They're fighting hard but their losses are not going to be sustainable unless we correct this problem". "They are also exhausted of war".

Taliban fighters attacked the city of Ghazni in central Afghanistan early on Friday, burning police checkpoints, shelling buildings and seizing control of parts of the city, officials said.

"I think that these statements that the Taliban have changed are only excuses that are being used by the Taliban to gain acceptance", Malina Hamidi, a teacher at a school in the Chamtal district of Balkh province, reportedly declared.

The top USA commander in Afghanistan, a week before President Donald Trump's decision on drawing down American troops, had admitted the 17-year-old conflict in the country would not culminate with a military win for the Pentagon.

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