KABUL say the Afghan government if it is really interested in peace parleys with the insurgent movement, should immediately scrap a security pact with the United States.
President Ashraf Ghani’s administration had signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US in 2014 — three days after the national unity government came into being.
For months, the international community has been stressing the need for face-to-face talks between Kabul and Taliban representatives on a negotiated end to the 17-year-old conflict.
But the Taliban have refused meeting Afghan leaders, saying the government in Kabul does not have the power to take important decisions. Therefore, the rebel group argues, it wants to negotiate Afghanistan’s future with the US.
On Friday, a statement on Taliban’s website explained why they had declined a meeting with the Afghan government delegation in the UAE capital two days back.
The main agenda item, the insurgents said, pertained to the US pullout from Afghanistan. A possible threat to the US-led Western world from Afghanistan was another American concern that the Taliban addressed.
In return, the US should set free Taliban prisoners, remove names of militant leaders from the blacklist and recognise their political office to build confidence and take forward the nascent dialogue, the statement added.
The Taliban explained they did not meet the Afghan delegation, because Kabul was not empowered to address the issues discussed at the UAE meeting.
The statement said Kabul, it was still interested in reaching an understanding with the Taliban, should immediately walk out of BSA and tell US troops to leave the country.