Afghan panel will decide final deal with Taliban: Tahir Qadiry

The US and Taliban are likely to finalise an agreement on withdrawal of foreign forces and a counter-terrorism guarantee on Afghan soil not being used by terrorists by September. However, the Taliban is yet to agree to an intra-Afghan dialogue for a political settlement.
Paramilitary soldiers drag barbwire as they prepare to impose curfew in Srinagar, Aug. 7, 2019.(AP)
Paramilitary soldiers drag barbwire as they prepare to impose curfew in Srinagar, Aug. 7, 2019.(AP)
Updated on Jun 12, 2020 12:43 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRezaul H Laskar

A 15-member negotiating team formed by the Afghan government will decide the final deal with the Taliban after the militant group and the US conclude an agreement, Afghanistan’s acting ambassador Tahir Qadiry has said.

Asked during an interview if India’s move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status could have implications for the Afghan peace process, Qadiry said Afghanistan is promoting “regional consensus” to ensure peace in the region.

The US and Taliban are likely to finalise an agreement on withdrawal of foreign forces and a counter-terrorism guarantee on Afghan soil not being used by terrorists by September. However, the Taliban is yet to agree to an intra-Afghan dialogue for a political settlement.

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Qadiry said the final round of talks will be between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “The Afghan government has formed a 15-member negotiating team considering the social and political diversity…They will be actually doing the deal with the Taliban,” he said. The negotiating team includes politicians, civil society, women and government representatives.

Qadiry said it was unfortunate the Taliban hadn’t stopped carrying out attacks despite agreeing to reduce the level of violence during talks with Afghan delegates in Doha in July.

“The Afghan red lines are quite clear – we have our democratic values which our people are standing by, we have the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan…and people are fighting for that to be preserved and the gains we’ve made over the past 18 years,” he said.

Asked about developments in Kashmir affecting the Afghan peace process, Qadiry said his country is the crossroads for the region and “peace in Afghanistan is peace for the region”. He added: “We have been promoting regional consensus regarding that as well. Let’s hope nothing affects the regional connectivity, regional peace, regional order and regional economy. Let’s hope everything gets sorted out in the best way possible.”

(This version of the report has been changed to better reflect the views of the acting Afghan ambassador Tahir Qadiry.)

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Monday, December 06, 2021