by ALI HUSSAIN
WEB DESK: Afghan Taliban has postponed the scheduled second round of peace talks with Afghan government following reports of the movement’s chief Mullah Omar’s death, the Foreign Office confirmed.
“In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed,” Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement.
He said Pakistan and other friendly countries of Afghanistan hope that the Taliban leadership will stay engaged in the process of peace talks to promote a lasting peace in Afghanistan. “It is further hoped that those forces, which due to their mala fide want to undermine the peace talks, will not succeed in their designs”, the spokesperson added.
In his weekly press briefing, the spokesperson described the reports of Mullah Omar’s death as “rumours”, saying, “We have seen reports about Mullah Omar’s death. Rumours about his death have been circulating for some time now. Our authorities, therefore, are trying to check the veracity of the reports”.
He said that Pakistan has been facilitating an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, adding efforts are being made for facilitating the second round of peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government.
Earlier, a statement posted on the Afghan Taliban’s website, stated that the group’s political office was not aware of any such process of talks. “Media outlets are circulating reports that peace talks will take place very soon between the Islamic Emirate and the Kabul regime in either China or Pakistan.
The Islamic Emirate, in accordance with its policy, has established a specific organ responsible for handling all its political affairs. We have repeatedly clarified this matter earlier and made clear the stance of Islamic Emirate,” it read.
However, in another statement, the Taliban gave a green signal to carry forward the peace process under certain conditions, adding peace is a national process and not within the ambit of outsiders to accomplish.
The statements came following reports of the Taliban founding leader Mullah Omar’s death and appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as the new chief of the group. “We are of the opinion that despite its appealing results and impacts, peace accompanies some conditions and hurdles. If these conditions and hurdles are not met and removed then the result will be vice-versa,” said the statement.
Forwarding the second condition, the Taliban stated that the peace process should be based on free will and consent of the conflicting parties. “If coercion and foreign pressures are behind it then it could not be acceptable because peace is a treaty in which consensus and consent of conflicting parties is essential,” the statement added.
In the third condition, the group stated that peace needs sincerity and a devoted role of ‘mediators’ and their will for reconciliation. “If mediators are after their own objectives and strive for their own interests then they themselves are hurdles in the way of peace,” it added.
It termed the continued “oppression and occupation” as the main hurdle in the way of peace, adding: “if the hands of tyrant are not held from committing cruelty and invaders are not forced out of the country then peace is not possible.” The second hurdle, according to the statement, is continued use of force. It called “deception, cunning and the lack of sincerity and commitment” as the third hurdle in the way of peace.
“The invaders and Kabul Administration are raising a hue and cry for peace but in fact they do not want it. They are throwing dust in the eyes of Afghans and the world is using it as a military tactic,” it stated, adding their goal is to divide the Taliban and to flare up internal differences among them. “Today some other players have started the same game.
Some self-interested circles have obtained the contract of propaganda project for peace, persuaded by invading America and Kabul Administration and for the obtainment of their own materialistic interests,” said the statement, adding they want to derail peace from its real pathway and to sabotage the process of durable true peace and to shatter the hopes of the Afghans.
The Taliban also demanded that an atmosphere of peace and stability should be maintained so that disputes, hostilities and feuds give their place to a durable peace and stability. “These are the things which can be secured through direct contacts between Afghans but not by outsiders,” it added.
Source: Business Recorder