Afghan government, Taliban agree on Peace Talk rules: officials

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“We are about to announce and start official talks,” said a senior Taliban leader. (File)

Islamabad:

The Afghan government and the Taliban have resolved the main bottlenecks that had blocked peace talks for weeks, several sources told TBEN on Friday, paving the way for the negotiations to move forward.

The talks began on September 12 in the Qatari capital, Doha, but almost immediately collapsed due to disagreements over the agenda, the basic framework for the discussions and religious interpretations.

However, after days of discussions on the sidelines, it appears that negotiators have now paved the way for full peace talks.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Pakistan-based Taliban leader told TBEN that “sufficient progress” had been made.

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“We are close to the announcement and the launch of official talks,” he said.

“A joint statement will be published soon,” he added, adding that the announcement could take place in the coming days.

A second Taliban source in Pakistan confirmed that the two sides have agreed on the ground rules to start formal talks. A third source close to the Taliban also confirmed the development.

An Afghan official close to negotiators in Doha told TBEN that the two teams have now resolved several contentious issues, paving the way for negotiations to begin.

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Several members of the Afghan government negotiating team recently returned to Kabul for final consultations, after which President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who heads the peace process for Kabul, are expected to announce a breakthrough, the official said.

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Among the sticking points to date, the Taliban and the Afghan government have struggled to agree on a common language on two main issues.

The Taliban, who are Sunni extremists, insist on adhering to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but government negotiators say it could be used to discriminate against the Hazaras, who are predominantly Shia, and other minorities.

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Another controversial topic is how the deal between the United States and the Taliban will shape a future peace deal and how it will be mentioned.

The Doha peace talks opened after the Taliban and Washington signed an agreement in February, with the United States agreeing to withdraw all foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees and a promise from the Taliban to begin negotiations. talks.

Despite the talks, violence has escalated across Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up their daily attacks on Afghan security forces.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)

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