Peace talks with Afghanistan in jeopardy after Taliban’s refusal

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Islamabad, Mar.6 (ANI): The peace talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban ran into trouble as the main faction of the insurgent group denied its plans to join the process besides questioning its efficacy.

“We unequivocally state that the leader of Islamic Emirate has not authorised anyone to participate in this meeting,” dawn quoted a statement by the Taliban as saying.

The statement reiterated the conditions the group put forth to continue to peace dialogue like exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan, lifting of curbs on Taliban leaders and release of their prisoners from the Afghan jails.

The decision ends hopes of reconciliation negotiation, a timeframe set by Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US who are participating in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) on Afghan reconciliation.

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This is the second time that QCG has missed the deadline. It had initially planned to open the talks in February.

The reconciliation dialogue with the Taliban has been suspended since July last year.

The intensification of operations by the Afghan forces, deployment of the US troops to the battlefield and their participation in air strikes and continuing night raids are a few factors for not carrying forward the negotiation.

The Taliban’s inflexibility on dialogue can cause problems for Pakistan.

Afghanistan has for long been demanding that Pakistan should stop sheltering the militant group. The recent Strategic Dialogue with the US somehow concluded with a positive note after Pakistan accepted not to allow its land to the Taliban. (ANI)

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