Afghanistan peace talks future hangs in limbo

Afghanistan peace talks future hangs in limbo

KABUL - *The Taliban has not yet accepted President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer made on Wednesday at the Kabul Process meeting but the High Peace Council (HPC) said on Saturday the proposal was “a golden opportunity” for the group.*

“The ball is in the court of the Taliban. We are waiting to see whether the Taliban takes their own route or they hear their people’s call, or continue their activities which are against the Sharia,” said Sayed Ehsanuddin Taheri, head of media and strategic relations of the High Peace Council.

Analysts have mixed reactions however towards the Afghan government’s peace offer.

“Government should have brought up such conditions and issues in the past, but this time, President (Ashraf Ghani) brought up this issue very creatively,” said Tahir Yarghal, a political affairs analyst.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s office meanwhile termed the peace offer beneficial to the Taliban and called on the group to make use of the opportunity.

“We have not received any information about this, but our hope is that the Taliban says yes to this offer because it is an opportunity in their favor,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman for the chief executive.

This comes after Taliban, by issuing two separate statements, asked for direct talks with the US and rejected negotiations with the Afghan government.