KABUL (Pajhwok): The US had conferred on a power-sharing arrangement with the Taliban, but the Ghani administration temporised on the issue of forming a coalition government, says a former American diplomat.
Zalmay Khalilzad, then US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, recalled he had shared with the government and Taliban his proposal on a coalition set-up.
In an interview, the diplomat blamed Kabul for disclosing what he called a secret agreement. He alleged the government wanted to damage the proposal by making it public.
Speaking to TOLOnews, Khalilzad claimed the US had convinced the Taliban not to attack cities and highways. But the government in Kabul was insisting on an instant truce, he said.
Days before the fall of Kabul, it had been decided that all parties should agree on the creation of a broad-based government, the former envoy added.
During a meeting in Doha, Khalilzad said he had agreed with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the sitting deputy premier of the Islamic Emirate, to hold talks with the Afghan politicians and a delegation from the previous government on forming an inclusive interim set-up.
“It was agreed the Taliban would not enter Kabul and a number of their forces who were in the city would leave the capital,” he said. In the meantime, a delegation from the government was set to visit Doha for Talks with the Taliban on setting up an inclusive government within two weeks.” Khalilzad explained it had been agreed that any decision the delegation would make in Doha about an inclusive government would be final and Ashraf Ghani had accepted it.
But the planned negotiations did not happen as the former president fled Kabul on August 15. Later in the day, the Taliban stormed into the capital.