Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said on Tuesday “50 percent” of Quetta Shura – the Taliban’s leadership council – supports the peace process.
He said key leaders of the group, that he had spoken to, told him as much in recent months.
The Kandahar police chief said government officials have also talked with Taliban leaders in recent months and many of them said they are ready to join the peace process within a framework of a political system.
“We have met with Taliban and the Quetta Shura members many times either inside or outside the country,” he said.
Raziq said government officials have held talks with Taliban leaders where they were told by group members they were tired of war and wanted to end violence through talks.
“They (Taliban) are part of Afghanistan and part of this country. They want to come to peace, not to put down their arms as government has asked them in the past 13 years. They want to join the process with honor,” he added.
The High Peace Council and members of the public said they welcome such talks and that government should make more effort to achieve lasting peace in the country.
“Every Afghan who takes a step for peace is welcomed by us unless it affects the peace process,” said Sayed Ehsan Taheri, a spokesman for the High Peace Council.
“Peace is every Afghan’s demand. We are optimistic about the efforts for this process, whether it is on an individual, national or international level,” said Shams Kamran, a civil society activist.
“Peace is important for Afghanistan. We welcome peace efforts at all levels,” said Naqib Noori, a university lecturer.
This comes after a successful three-day ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban across the country – a move that was widely welcomed by people across the nation.