ELDERS, SCHOLARS CALL ON TALIBAN TO SPEED UP PEACE TALKS

ELDERS, SCHOLARS CALL ON TALIBAN TO SPEED UP PEACE TALKS

SAM Staff,
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Residents, tribal elders and religious scholars in Nangarhar province on Wednesday called on the Taliban to accelerate peace talks and said they were tired of the war.

Attending a gathering in Jalalabad city, the residents, elders and scholars said both sides were tired of the war and both should call a ceasefire.

“Meetings on Afghanistan can be held in Dubai, Qatar, Iran, US, Russia or Kabul but dignity of Afghanistan must be considered,” said Hazrat Ali a parliament member.

“Ask all the parties to come and sit at one table, according to Islam, and everyone must do his share to build Afghanistan,” said Mawlawi Ehsanullah, a religious scholar.

Meanwhile, participants also called on the Taliban to start peace talks with government.

“All suggestions that have been offered to the Taliban must be accepted for all and pressure should be put on Taliban to start talks with government,” said Mir Wali Khan, a tribal elder.

“Abbas Stanikzai (the leader of the Taliban’s peace talks delegation), if you are an Afghan then come and talk with Afghans and how can you say that you will dissolve the army and again want to destabilize Afghanistan,” said Abdul Ghafor Ghafori, a university lecturer.

Ghafori had been referring to a recent video issued by the senior Taliban member, and former head of the Qatar office, where he indicated the group would dissolve the army if a peace agreement was reached. However, a few days later he backtracked and said his message had been misinterpreted.

In the video, Stanikzai said once the US forces have withdrawn from Afghanistan, there would be no need for an army in Afghanistan.

In response to the video, Ghani said at an event to honor commandos, that the country’s security forces were improving and getting stronger and will eventually be able to work without foreign assistance.

Meanwhile, members of the public attending the Jalalabad gathering called on their fellow countrymen to support the peace process in an effort to put an end to the fighting in the country.

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