Taliban Got No Power-Sharing Offers From Afghan Government, Reports Say
10:28 GMT 12.08.2021 (Updated: 12:31 GMT 12.08.2021)
Taliban* insurgents have captured the strategic city of Ghazni, 150km south of Kabul, on Thursday as the Islamist group intensified their attacks in an attempt to take control over the capitals of 34 provinces across the country. The group has claimed to have seized their 10th capital, even as the country’s president replaced the army chief.
The Taliban movement has not received any invitation to share power in Afghanistan from the government, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday, citing Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman in the political office in Qatar.
The Taliban are ready to engage in the transitional government and have no intention to overthrow President Ashraf Ghani, Shaheen assured.
Earlier it was reported that the Afghan government offered the radical movement a power-sharing deal in return for ending the violence.
Al Jazzera cited a government source as saying the Afghan government has offered the Taliban movement a power-sharing arrangement if it ends violence in the country. The proposal of the Kabul administration was delivered to the militant movement via Qatar, which is hosting the intra-Afghan negotiations.
Addressing envoys of extended Troika members -- the US, Russia, China and Pakistan-- in Doha, Afghan reconciliation council chairman Abdullah Abdullah has urged the international community to adopt serious measures to “prevent Taliban attacks on cities, which have led to war crimes, widespread human rights abuses and humanitarian catastrophe”. Abdullah also stressed the need to start meaningful and sincere negotiations to establish an immediate ceasefire and reach a political agreement.
“Stopping the Taliban violence and crimes in direct collusion with regional and international terrorists will be not only in the interest of Afghanistan but in the interest of the whole world, especially the countries of the region,” a statement issued by the Afghan foreign ministry on Thursday read.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed to selected foreign journalists on Wednesday that a political settlement is unlikely to reach any conclusion under the present scenario.
"I tried to persuade the Taliban... three to four months back when the Taliban senior leadership came here…The condition is that as long as Ashraf Ghani is there, we (the Taliban) are not going to talk to the Afghan government," Khan said, quoting the Taliban leaders as telling him.
President Ghani appointed General Hibatullah Alizia as his new army chief on Wednesday, replacing Gen Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, who was appointed as chief only in June this year. Ghani has been trying to formulate a comprehensive plan with warlords of the country to retaliate against the Taliban which made huge inroads across the country after US-led NATO forces started leaving the war-torn country in May.
Earlier, media reported that the United States was concerned that the Taliban could capture Kabul in 1-3 months, far sooner than previous intelligence assessment suggested.
According to reports, the situation in the country is now worse than it was in June when the US intelligence predicted that Kabul could collapse in 6-12 months after the American troop pullout from Afghanistan.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia