Big Breakthrough in Afghanistan endgame with Afghan Taliban emerging victorious

Big Breakthrough in Afghanistan endgame with Afghan Taliban emerging victorious

KABUL: Breakthrough development has been reported in the Afghanistan endgame.

Afghan Taliban negotiators and the United States officials meeting in Qatar finalised clauses to be included in a draft agreement to end the 17-year-old Afghan war.

According to details provided by Taliban sources, the draft includes apparent concessions from both sides, with foreign forces to be withdrawn from the country in 18 months from the future signing of the deal. It is unclear whether a joint statement will be issued, or whether the provisions have been fully accepted by the US side.

According to sources, Taliban offered assurances that Afghanistan will not be allowed to be used by al Qaeda and Islamic State militants to attack the United States and its allies – a key early demand of Washington.

In return for a ceasefire offer, they also demanded the assurance from by the US that there will be no threat to regional countries, especially Pakistan.

Though the militant outfit agreed to ceasefire clause, it asked the allies to provide a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. They, however, hinted at holding talks with the Afghan government in a post-ceasefire scenario, *reported Tolo News *quoting sources.

Other clauses include a deal over the exchange and release of prisoners from the warring sides, the removal of an international travel ban on several Taliban leaders by the United States and the prospect of an interim Afghan government after the ceasefire is struck, the Taliban sources said.

During the talks, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reportedly said the talks should be aimed at reforms and not for a demand by the Taliban to control Afghanistan. Now he will be heading to Afghan capital Kabul to brief President Ashraf Ghani after the end of the six-day talks, the sources and a diplomat said.