Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai may have appointed a high-level peace council to hold talks with the Taliban, but the latter seems to be in no mood to indulge him.
Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban leader Mullah Omar's spokesperson, in an e-mail exchange with Rediff.com, said the Afghan Taliban would never fall into a trap that aims to prolong the United States-led International Security Force's stay in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday Karzai announced the appointment of a high-level peace council for holding talks with the Taliban.
The Afghan president's office later announced a list of 68 people who would broker a possible peace deal with warring militants and other anti-government factions.
Council members include former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, commander Abdul Rab Rasool Sayaf and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, who were part of the resistance against the Taliban regime (1996 to 2001) and helped the US topple the Mullah Omar-led Taliban government in 2001.
In his e-mail Zabiullah Mujahid said, "Islami Amarat (the Pakistan Taliban) itself is striving for peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban considers peace as a basic human right, but the Taliban has objections over this offer, which is a ploy to deviate the world's attention from Afghanistan where the American-led foreign forces have almost lost their war against the mujahideen."
The Afghan Taliban, while rejecting Karzai's announcement of a Shura (council) for talks, has announced its ten-point agenda:
- Peace is the cry of the day. Every Afghan citizen wants to live in peace, which is a basic human right. But for the peace process, a viable plan should be adopted. This plan is only profitable for the Americans.
- First, there should be positive steps. The common people must realise that the Afghan environment is turning peaceful. Announcing a Shura list is nothing more than lip service.
- For a peace process such people should be brought forward who were never involved in the killing of innocent Afghanis. Peace-loving people should be included in the Shura; those who never served foreigners interests; and those who are known as righteous amongst the masses.
- 150,000 foreign forces are deployed in Afghanistan. They are killing innocent Afghans on daily basis. The Karzai government seems helpless and cannot make decisions on its own regarding minor issues. So how we can believe in such a big offer from a puppet regime? Could Karzai independently make any decision?
- This announcement from Karzai is nothing else but a ploy to hide the defeat of the Americans. And also to prolong the Afghanistan's occupation by NATO forces.
- Through this plan Americans want to get the support of the Afghan masses and other nations.
- This announcement is an attempt by the Americans to get the mujahideen to lay down their arms.
- Americans want to deviate attention from the Afghan Taliban's aim and demand, which is the establishment of a true Islamic Shariah in Afghanistan. The time is near when the Americans would run from the country and the Taliban would emerge as the real Islamic State.
- The Taliban asks when the Americans entered Afghanistan in 2001, why did they not feel the need for a council? Now the announcement of a long list of brokers for talks shows that the foreign forces could not win this war. It is too late now; the Taliban would never become a part of such a plan.
- Finally, Amarat Islami rejects all such offers by the Americans as it is a plan to stay longer in Afghanistan. Their extended stay will prolong the dark period of their occupation, which is full of violence, torture and injustice. So, the mujahideen will continue their jihad until the withdrawal of foreign forces.