The Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the Heart of Asia Society’s 7th session on Thursday, said the group has the will to solve Afghanistan's conflict through negotiations.
He stated that the next political system of Afghanistan should be an inclusive and Islamic system.
“(The Taliban) for its part is fully prepared and committed to resolving the issues through negotiations,” said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy leader of the Taliban.
He said that the next political system will also ensure the protection of public utility infrastructures, women’s rights, media rights, and Afghanistan’s bilateral relations with all other nations in line with the Islamic principles.
Meanwhile, the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in talks with the Taliban said that a ceasefire will be the republic team’s utmost priority in the ongoing talks with the Taliban in Doha.
Baradar also said that the next political system will fight drug smuggling and production, will maintain good ties with neighbors and will seek international assistance for Afghanistan in line with the Islamic laws.
Nevertheless, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Afghanistan has a historic opportunity for peace today and that the alliance fully supports Afghanistan’s people in their strides for peace.
“Afghanistan now faces a historic opportunity for peace and NATO strongly supports the Afghan peace process. In the coming months, we will face difficult decisions about our future positions in the country,” said Stoltenberg.
However, the Afghan government has said that the protection of the republic system, the Constitution of Afghanistan, and the gains the country has made over the past two decades are a key part of the negotiations.
“It is (ceasefire) the demand of the Afghan people. The resolution of the consultative Loya Jirga clearly states that protection of the republic and its continuation is important,” said Dawa Khan Menapal, a deputy spokesman to President Ashraf Ghani.
Meanwhile, a transcript of procedural rules of the talks that was seen by TOLOnews states that the talks between the two sides will be carried out based on four items:
• The US-Taliban peace agreement
• The Afghan people’s aspiration for peace
• Commitment by the two sides for a durable peace
• The demand of the UN for durable peace in Afghanistan
Based on the 21-procedural rules, the two sides have agreed to the following during the talks:
• Mutual respect during the negotiations
• Demonstrating patience during speeches by each side
• Settling issues through working groups
• Settling disagreements from the Sharia perspective by the joint delegation of the two sides
• The running discussion of the negotiations must be written.
• At the end of the meetings, the two sides share a text with the media that has been agreed upon by both parties.
• Talk mediators will not attend the negotiation tables
• The confidentiality of negotiations must be maintained
• Media must be kept away from the location of the talks
“According to my information, the Taliban and the Afghan government have disagreements on at least three items of the agenda of the talks,” said Sami Yousufzai, a freelance journalist.
On Wednesday, sources said that the Taliban has asked for two days to discuss the 28-article demand list of the Afghan republic’s negotiating team. But a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team in Qatar said that the two-day time period was brought up mutually.
The two sides have held three consecutive meetings this week at the working group level to discuss the agenda of the peace negotiations after having reached an agreement on the procedural rules for the talks.