Taliban’s demand major hurdle in talks


The Taliban’s demand of 50 percent share in the future Afghan ruling setup has become a major hurdle in the success of the ongoing US-Taliban negotiations after the fulfilment of two of their other major demands, including the exclusion of Taliban leaders’ names from the UN terrorist list soon and the next month’s commencement of US led foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The Taliban have not been positive in their response to all the peace overtures and the reason was the non-acceptance of their few but very tough demands,” an Islamabad-based Afghan diplomat said. Taliban have been asking for years the withdrawal of US-led foreign troops from Afghanistan, which has almost been accepted with beginning of NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan next month.
The Taliban have also been asking for the exclusion of their leaders’ names from the UN’s terrorist list and on Friday, the UN split a sanctions blacklist for the Taliban and al Qaeda, to encourage the Taliban to join reconciliation efforts. The UNSC said it was sending a signal to the Taliban that it was now time to join the political process.
“The Taliban ruled Afghanistan before. They obviously want a proper share in the government and the indications from Washington is that the Taliban could be given one-third of that in the future Afghan government,” the Afghan diplomat said. However, he said the demand for a 50 percent share was very hard to accept and hence a deadlock in the ongoing talks.