Pakistan, Afghanistan push Taliban for talks

June 9, 2015 8:03 PM

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Kabul: The Afghan Taliban is gradually attempting to move away from some of their more radical positions, such as their previous opposition to women’s education, in order to increase their acceptability across a wider cross-section of Afghan people, according to Omar Hamid, Head of Asia Analysis, IHS Country Risk.

The Afghan Taliban released a statement announcing that on 6 and 7 June Taliban leaders had met with politicians and civil society representatives in Dubai. In May, the Talban had admitted to having held talks with representatives of the Afghan government. The current talks included discussions with political figures from across the political spectrum, and prominent social activists, in particular women’s rights activists.

“The Taliban’s meeting with civil society groups in Dubai is another indicator that increases the likelihood that the group will agree to engage in peace negotiations with the Afghan government in the next six months to one year.

“We believed that both the Pakistani military establishment, who have had long standing contacts with the Taliban, and the government of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani would both encourage some kind of power sharing agreement inclusive of the Taliban in Afghanistan. However in order to win support for such a power sharing deal, the Taliban would likely have to moderate some of its previous positions and increase their acceptability to non-Pashtun political parties in the country, as well as to civil society groups that have become a significant force in the past 15 years. The Dubai meeting therefore, was most probably an attempt to allay the fears of these groups for what Taliban involvement in a coalition would herald.”


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