Afghanistan peace talks falter over future government arrangements

negotiations to end afghan The conflict is in danger of stopping because Taliban Demanding that Kabuli Government agree to the terms that would mean surrender Power By Islamic group according to senior diplomatic sources.

Delegations of both sides concluded 48 hours of talks in Queue With a joint statement over the weekend saying they would meet again next week, unless an agreement is reached.

The Taliban’s ‘supreme leader’ Haibatullah Akhundzada said before the meeting that “the Islamic Emirate is in favor of a political settlement”. But, at the same time, Islamists have continued their offensive to capture the area and carry out bomb attacks.

There is a broad consensus among the Afghan government and its international supporters that the Taliban should become part of the country’s political process, with power sharing or forming a government if elected.

But, Afghan officials as well as many Western diplomats say Islamists and their supporters in the Pakistani military and intelligence services believe a military victory can be achieved and do not want progress to stall. Go.

A post-election ceasefire does not guarantee that Talib will regain power. The Kabul government claims that polling shows support for the Taliban is around 17 percent across large parts of the country.

“We are a republic, an Islamic republic. They want an emirate. We want the next government to be elected by the people, they want it to be appointed by a small group of their own people, we want to have equality for women.” Believe it, they don’t: these are clearly big differences,” said a senior Afghan official.

“The Taliban maintain that the values ​​of the republic are not Islamic enough. We are ready to discuss these matters with them in which religious scholars will participate. But the Taliban are fundamentalists, for them there can be no other Muslim like them.”

Many Afghan officials and Western diplomats believe the Taliban will not start talking seriously until a military standoff occurs – a time when they are not sure they can win the conflict.

The situation on the ground seems to be changing on a weekly basis. The Taliban have captured about 210 of the country’s 420 district centers, but some areas have also been recaptured by Afghan forces and government and allied militias.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials say casualties among government forces have remained relatively low despite fierce fighting and that tactics are being adjusted to deal with the early departure of Western forces.

US and British commanders say a problem that has arisen is that Western advisers, along with Afghan army units and Afghan special forces, worked closely together, often not even involving the Afghan chain of command.

“The speed at which our allies came out meant there was a void, it could have been managed better,” said an Afghan official.

“But we are strengthening our chain of command which will take a few months. The Taliban are also changing their way of fighting, less guerrilla warfare, more traditional. For example they are more out in the open guarding their territory.”

Although the Afghan government cannot depend on Western air support, which is a vital part of their military campaign, Western aircraft are being driven out of bases in the country to take advantage of the Taliban’s weaknesses.

The US, Britain and allies are considering the option of air support “above the horizon” from other countries. But a senior British military commander admitted that air support would not be as fast ‘in the country’ with flights coming from as far away as Diego Garcia. Some flights will have to fly over Pakistan and Afghan officials believe that Pakistanis will pass on secret information to the Taliban.

Afghans also blame the Pakistani military for planning current operations that focused on the north and west of the country rather than their traditional southern stronghold. It aims to undermine the Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara communities, which have historically opposed the Taliban, while besieging and cutting Kabul.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that there was “the possibility of a complete Taliban takeover” with Islamists at “strategic momentum”.

However, he acknowledged that “there could be many other scenarios. This is now going to be a test of the will and leadership of the Afghan people, the Afghan security forces and the government of Afghanistan. I don’t think the final game has been written yet.”

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