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Taliban must respect the red line if it wants to have “intra-Afghan” dialogue: Afghan diplomat

Dialogue between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan will be possible only if the outfit proves that it will reconcile with the new political and social realities of Afghanistan, an Afghan diplomat said here on Friday.

The intra-Afghan dialogue dialogue is an essential requirement for the solution of the decades long conflict which has intensified after President Trump cancelled the US-Taliban negotiation on September 8.

“Taliban will have to take note of the red line if it wishes to hold a dialogue with the government of Afghanistan. For us, the name of the country, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, civil and political rights, women’s rights, strong public participation in the political process of the ‘new Afghanistan’ are part of the red line for Afghanistan,” said the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of Afghanistan Tahir Qadiry explaining that these issues can not be compromised for a dialogue with the militant group.

The direct talks between the two parts of the Afghan talks were expected to begin following the US-Taliban talks which broke down after the militant group attacked a military training centre in Kabul killing an American soldier. During the talks with the US, Taliban had insisted on changing the name of Afghanistan.

Following the termination of the talks that were held in the Qatari capital Doha, prospects of talks with the Taliban remain unclear at present, though all sides have expressed a desire for peace.

Mr. Qadiry said that Taliban will have to realise that a whole new generation has emerged in Afghanistan in the years since the 9/11 attacks on twin towers in New York City which led to the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Kabul. Taliban maintains that it remains open for dialogue but Mr. Qadiry pointed out that young Afghans want to know if the Taliban will recognise the needs of the changing times. In the late 1990s, Taliban had introduced harsh punishments according to puritanical Islamic jurisprudence that had drawn widespread criticism for violating womens’ rights. So far Taliban has not said if it regrets the excesses committed in the late 1990s.

“So far there is no indication if Taliban has changed its position on women’s rights and if it has a clear understanding of the new Afghanistan,” said Mr. Qadiry on the sidelines of a discussion by the Centre for Policy Research on the status of Afghanistan after President Trump ended the talks with the Taliban. “It is for the Taliban to show that it has changed,” said Mr. Qadiry.

Source: thehindu.com

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