A key member of the Taliban’s political office in Doha has blamed the Afghan government for delays in the intra-Afghan negotiations that are aimed at ending the decades of war in the country.
The talks were expected to begin 10 days after the Feb. 29 deal between the US and the Taliban, but it is dependent on the completion of a prisoner exchange by the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Shahabuddin Delawar, a key member of the Taliban’s office in Qatar speaking during a virtual discussion with other Afghans, said the release of prisoners should be finalized and that the talks should be carried out with an inclusive delegation from Kabul.
“The responsibility of all bloody incidents over the last four months is on (the Afghan government) because it should have released our 5,000 by March 15. We were ready to release their 1,000 prisoners in 10 days,” Delawar said.
The participants also discussed a post-peace government, women’s rights--especially their right to education, work and to participate in elections.
“Is context important or name? I say both because the Islamic emirate (Taliban) is an incumbent rule and an Islamic government must be ruling,” said Din Mohammad Haneef, a member of Taliban’s political office in Doha.
“Women have the right to work for the improvement of the country and for the welfare of their families under Islamic regulations that we want that, based on Afghan culture,” Delawar said.
Another member of the office, Noorullah Noori, accused the US of violating the peace agreement, saying the Taliban has not declared a ceasefire with the Afghan forces.
“Attacks on checkpoints and districts and public routes will continue as there is no ceasefire between us and Kabul,” Noori said.
The Presidential Palace, meanwhile, criticized the Taliban and said the group has not followed-through on its commitments for peace efforts.
“They have not released our captives. You can see the violence level by the Taliban--where it has reached. Terror, murder and attacks on civilians, government employees, religious scholars and hospitals continue,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.