Officials from the Committee of Political Parties and Political Movements on Tuesday said that recent trips by senior members of the Taliban to Russia and then Iran indicate that the group is trying to resume talks with the US.
But Mohammad Mohaqiq, the leader of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party states that the Taliban should come up with a clear position towards making the peace locally--in Afghanistan.
“ [The Taliban] should come and sit like brothers with the Afghan people. They accept us and we will accept them. We should avoid insulting each other,” said Mohaqiq.
Mohammad Natiqi, the chairman of the Committee of Political Parties and Political Movements, said that the regional countries--and powerful countries-- have not, as a whole, dealt with the Afghan peace process with honesty.
“Unfortunately, during the recent negotiations, the peace issue was not treated in a sincere manner. Everyone is trying to manipulate peace for their own interests. You witnessed several explosions and terror activities in the middle of the peace process. But still we will support peace when it comes back on track,” said Natiqi.
This comes hours after Suhail Shaheen, spokesperson for the Taliban, tweeted that a Taliban delegation led by the group’s senior member, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi, had met with representatives from Iran. The Taliban and Iranian foreign ministry officials reportedly discussed the peace process, economic projects between Iran and Afghanistan, and security.
This comes a week after US President Donald Trump called off peace talks because the Taliban admitted to an attack that killed at least 10 people, including a US soldier.
The Afghan conflict has cost almost 2,400 American lives and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. As the war approaches its 18th year, 14,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan and senior intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that the country remains fragile and could once again become a terrorist haven.