Direct talks between govt and Taliban to start soon: Afghan President’s special representative

Kabul: Direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban is likely to start in the next few months, President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative for Regional Affairs for Consensus on Peace, Mohammad Umer Daudzai said on Wednesday.

“From today up to a few months, we will witness direct negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban and that is the main negotiation,” Tolo news quoted Daudzai as saying.

Daudzai made these remarks while addressing an Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission conference.

Taliban on many occasions in the past has refused to directly hold talks with the government.

During the recent Moscow talks, after the Taliban refusal, Russia had to abandon the idea of involving government in the talks.

The Afghan government hit back by criticising Russia for undermining the spirit of the Afghan-led peace process.

Recently, Ghani announced the grand consultative ‘jigra’ in the month of March in order to hear the views and opinions of people about peace talks with the Taliban.

Daudzai, who is also an organiser of the ‘jirga’ for peace, said: “The jirga’s opening date is scheduled for March 17 and will end on March 20. But if the discussions continue, it will be extended.”