First ever step for Intra Afghan dialogue kicked off in Moscow.
Afghan Taliban and prominent politicians are participating in a two days peace talks in Moscow, started on 5th Feb. Top Afghan politicians including Former President Hamid Karzai, Former National Security Advisor and future presidential candidate Hanif Atmar are among those participating in the peace talks. Hanif had resigned as Ghani’s security adviser in August 2018.
A Moscow based Council of the Afghan Society is hosting this peace conference. The two-day meeting in the Russian capital is seen as another solid step in a process aimed at resolving Afghanistan’s 18-year war.
The peace efforts have accelerated since the appointment of US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, in last September.
Muhammed Khalil Danish Yar, Afghan Intelligence official told The Herald Report that former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanuni, former governor Atta Mohammad Noor, Head of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan Sayed Hamid Gailani, and Former advisor to the President, Zia Masood is also participating in the peace talks.
Afghan delegation is being led by the former President Hamid Karzai. Hamid Karzai tweeted last day that, He is traveling to Moscow to attend an intra-Afghan dialogue hosted by Council of the Afghan Diaspora in Russia. We will carry a message of peace, unity, sovereignty, and progress for all of Afghans.
Two Afghan women Fauzia Koofi and Hawwa Alam Nooristani are also the members of the delegation. Fauzi is an Afghan Parliamentarian and Chairperson of Women, Civil Society and Human Rights Commission while Hawa Alam Nooristani is a member of Afghan High peace council.
Qari Noor Muhammed Haqqani, a Taliban official told The Herald Report that Taliban 10 members political team is headed by Sher Muhammed Abbas Stanikzai, Taliban s current political chief in Doha.
Sher Abbas was a UN sanctioned, and former deputy minister during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He is leading Taliban political team in Doha since 2015. Stanikzai also served as deputy minister of Foreign Affairs in the Taliban government.
According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, Abbas Stanekzai has represented the Taliban in “a number of rounds of recent peace talks with the U.S special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
On the other side, the Afghan government showed deep concerned over the participation of Afghan Politicians in Moscow Conference.
Fazil Fazli, the advisor in chief to the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani told The Herald Report that the Afghan politicians are damaging the democratic values of the country.
Israr Ahmed is an Islamabad based Afghan Expert, answering the question of The Herald Report said that these intra afghan dialogues put Ashraf Ghani s united government in political isolation.
During 18 years war in Afghanistan, The two days peace talks would be the first ever Taliban s significant and direct contact with Afghan political leadership, he further added.
The Russian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs praised the initiatives of the conference and emphasize that it will set a course for the settling of Afghan crises.
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister said that the US is trying to taking full control of peace talks with Afghan Taliban.
The Russian News agency TAAS reported that, During his speech in Biskek last day, Lavrov categorically blamed the US and said that the US is conducting the dialogue in secrecy, keeping the regional and strategic partners in dark.
If we look at the Afghan issue in broader terms, we will see that there is a need to search for a political solution apart from resolving security issues, he further added.
Russia has been calling for intra-Afghan dialogue, which would involve the government and the Taliban movement, Lavrov said, stressing the importance of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan.
Regarding the ongoing peace talks in Moscow, The United States has made no comments yet.
It is aforementioned that Since US-led invasion in 2001, the US has spent trillions of dollars in Afghanistan but finally without gaining any task, The US officials are now involved in direct peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.
The Russian government has denied organizing the meeting, which is being hosted by a Moscow-based organization of Afghan Diaspora leaders.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that There have been no contacts planned in the Kremlin with representatives of the Afghan Taliban.
It is an interesting matter that, such a high-profile event would be allowed to take place in Moscow without the Kremlin’s knowledge or permission.
Despite all the peace efforts, Taliban have intensified their attack on the Afghan security forces.
On 5th February, early in the morning attack, Taliban fighters attacked an army base in Kunduz province and killed 26 security personals.
Earlier on February 4, at least 21 security officials were killed in another Taliban attacks.
Eleven police officers were killed when the Taliban fighters stormed a checkpoint in northern Baghlan Province. Meanwhile, 10 pro-government militiamen were killed in Samagan province.
10 people were killed in a militant attack on a local pro-government militia in a village in northern Samangan province.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the responsibility for the attacks.