KABUL in Saudi Arabia or Turkey if they want so.”
The ministry spokesman, Janan Musazai, told reporters in Kabul the Taliban’s Qatar office had been inaugurated in volition of the government’s conditions.
The Taliban opened their office in Doha in May and abandoned it before peace talks could even start due a dispute over the signs and symbols the Taliban raised at the compound.
The offer from the government shows chances for reopening of the Doha office have shrunk.
Musazai said any new office for the Taliban should come in line with the government’s conditions and will. “The Afghanistan government is ready to have a contact with the Taliban through a political office and start negotiations, but not ready for any compromise on the constitution and the gains the people of Afghanistan have made so far over the past more than a decade.”
He said the government did not allow the reconciliation process to threaten the national unity or lead to anarchy and would not allow the “enemies” to reach their goals which they had not been able to achieve in the battlefield.
Musazai said the government was ready to open an office for the Taliban within Afghanistan and give a guarantee for the security of their trusted peace emissaries for direct talks.
“If the Taliban do not accept this offer, the government is ready to help them open an office in Saudi Arabia or Turkey because the preference is to pave the ground for direct talks beween the two sides.”
On Thursday, President Karzai once again invited the Taliban to the negotiating table, saying they should stop using foreign guns against their own people. He said the Taliban office would not have been closed if they had opened it in Afghanistan instead of Qatar.
About Karzai’s yet-to-be announced visit to Pakistan, Musazai said the two sides were working on the agenda. The Afghan peace process would be the most important part of the agenda to be discussed with the Pakistani officials, he said.
Linking Islamabad’s role in the peace campaign to the presence of Afghan Taliban leadership in the neighbouring country, foreign ministry official complained Pakistan had either killed or arrested Taliban leaders after they agreed to peace parleys with the Kabul government.