No headway in Kabul-Taliban talks

ISLAMABAD: The indirect talks between the Afghan government and Taliban failed to make any headway after the Taliban expressed objection over the influence of the United States in the dialogue process.

“Taliban are of the view that the indirect dialogue process is being influenced by the US, and Kabul is speaking the US language as they want Taliban to call off the Spring Offensive against the Nato and Afghan troops, which usually starts in April after the snow melts,” a source was quoted as saying.

The source said that the US at this point is desperate to see peace happening between Kabul and the insurgents as they fear a strong Taliban offensive in the spring season. “The US fears are based on the reports that Taliban have devised a strategy to launch a well-planned offensive against the US forces in various parts of the country,” the source maintained.

“Taliban entered into indirect talks with the Kabul regime on the condition that the entire dialogue process will be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, but now undue US interference is pushing them back from the dialogue process,” the source added.

Another source said the other reason for slow development in the negotiations is due to the demands of Taliban from the Afghan government. “Taliban are demanding a sizeable share in the present government and would not settle for few ministries, otherwise, they believe, it will take a long time to bring changes in the Constitution according to their wishes,” the source maintained.

Taliban recently, after the indirect dialogue process started, notified the facilitating neighbouring countries that they have brought a change in their policy on various issue, including women rights and their education, besides leaving behind the staunch attitude with the objective of moving forward on the policy of accommodation during the dialogue process.

However, according to the sources, the latest issue raised by the Taliban group might delay the launch of direct talks with the Afghan government until the initial indirect talk process is not cleansed of western interference.