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Taliban Has No Intention For A Military Takeover; Top Negotiator

KABUL – Taliban does not intend to seize power through military struggle, said Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a top negotiator for the Taliban in Doha, as the timeline for a US-proposed peace conference on Afghanistan in Turkey approaches.

Stanekzai made the remarks during a virtual meeting with envoys from the UN, Norway, Sweden, Germany, US and the UK.

Stanekzai clarified that forming a coalition government was not a solution to the conflict, stating that there is need for a strong centralized Islamic government in which the rights of every Afghan citizen is protected, not a few, ToloNews reported Saturday.

“The Islamic Emirate (the term used for Taliban movement) does not accept a coalition government. There is a need for a strong centralized Islamic system, a system in which every Afghan see their rights, not a few people, a system in which the rights of every Afghan national is reflected,” said Stanekzai.

He also said that the conditional release of 7,000 Taliban prisoners and the removal of names of Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist were a key to move the peace process forward.

“Whenever a member of our delegation wants to go and meet our leaders or military commanders, it takes them days and this causes disruption in the peace process,” said Stanekzai, indirectly asking the removal of Taliban’s names from the UN blacklist.

The Taliban negotiator also assured that Afghan women will be allowed to play a role in the political process of the country and that freedom of speech will be operating within the framework of Islamic Sharia.

“There is a contrast in the Taliban’s words and actions. If the Taliban really wants to prove their words true, then they must engage in purposeful talks and announce a ceasefire,” said Ilyas Wahdat, the former governor of Paktika.

“Republic should be supported, both Afghans and foreigners must support the republic. It is very important,” said MP Abrarullah Murad.

Meanwhile, US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said that the US will stand with Afghans who support the Republic if the Taliban do not choose the path for peace.

He made the remarks after concluding his trip to the region in which he visited Tashkent, Doha Kabul and Dushanbe. He said that he attended a meeting with their allies in Berlin.

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