The Taliban finally named a 21-member delegation for peace talks with the Afghan government. According to Zabiullah Mujahed, the group’s spokesman, the negotiation team has been announced based on a decree by Amirul Mumineen, Taliban chief Mullah Hibat Ullah. The development took place on October 3.
“Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim appointed as head of negotiation team & Mr. Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai as deputy. Dr. Muhammad Naeem Wardak appointed as spokesperson of Political Office,” he tweeted.
IEA negotiation team announced on basis of decree by #AmirUlMumineen
– 21 members
– Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim appointed as head of negotiation team & Mr. Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai as deputy
– Dr. Muhammad Naeem Wardak appointed as spokesperson of Political Office https://t.co/7GOOIP0oxh
— Zabihullah (..ذبـــــیح الله م ) (@Zabehulah_M33) September 5, 2020
Earlier today, the ongoing status of Afghan talks was disclosed in an interview conducted by Public News Pakistan with Dr Muhammad Naeem, Taliban’s spokesperson of Political Office. Adnan Haider was interested to understand and reveal the crux of the discussion, in addition to whether and why there was a delay in the talks.
Haider asked Dr. Naeem what are the chances that the talks will be successful before the next US elections and what will be the outcome in case of delay? “Our intention is that the Afghans must initiate the talks first. We wish for the talks to happen fast, and we trust that there will not be any problem”, replied the spokesman.
Haider also asked Dr. Naeem that what is the possible reason behind a delay in the talks. The anchor raised a question as there is a perception linked with some sources in the Taliban that the talks are likely to be delayed.
Islamic system is in everyone’s interest, says Dr. Naeem
The spokesman said that there are always some “ups and downs” in all discussions, and the same is the case with the Afghan talks. He claimed it is because of these ups and downs that delays happen, and that there is no one in particular who is to be blamed for these delays, nor is there any specific individual who is against the talks, as per his knowledge. “Afghanistan acquiring peace and staying at peace is a win-win situation for everyone. Adopting an Islamic system within Afghanistan is within everyone’s interst. Everyone wants all the problems to end”, guaranteed spokesman Naeem.
Haider further asked the spokesman about the absence of an Islamic system in Afghanistan currently. Dr. Naeem replied: “There are things on paper, and then there are things that are happening in real life as practical matters. We want the Islamic system, there is no doubt about that. There should be independence.” Dr Naeem added that those operating against the injunctions of Islam should be stopped. “There should not be monetary, ethical nor congregational problems. Everyone who knows peace wants peace. People are facing a lot of problems, and this is why we want an Islamic System” said the spokesman.
The interviewer asked “Dr. Naeem, since you were in political office while monitoring all the political activities, Mullah Abdul Ghani was very hopeful when this agreement was happening in February. He was hopeful that there will be peace in Afghanistan soon. Yet, there was a delay in that agreement. I am asking you again since you monitored all this, why is the delay happening? Is it from the Kabul side or the Taliban side?” To this, the spokesman bluntly replied that he cannot specify who wants the delay. “We want talks with America because we want there to be peace in Afghanistan. We want an Islamic system, we want only the best for our people.”
“Do you think there will be peace after these talks?” asked Haider. “We want to keep friendly and peaceful ties with all our neighbors. We can only hope that these ties remain strong after these talks.” replied the spokesman.
He was then reminded about Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians, and that many still regard Israel as a country. “What will be Afghanistan’s policy with respect to Israel?” asked Haider. “We have always raised our voice against the injustice carried out on Palestine. We cannot have any relations with Israel and we do not regard it as a country. Palestine has our support.” guaranteed spokesman Naeem. “Palestine is the first QIBLA of Muslims. We are all Muslims. Since they disrespect our sacred places, we will not have any contact with them.” he reiterated.
“Finally, what do you think about the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan?” inquired Haider. “Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighboring countries. Same culture, same language. We want our relations with our neighbors to be good. Neighbors depend on each other.” said Naeem. When asked what his message would be to the people of Afghanistan regarding the peace talks, Naeem replied, “My message to the nation is that whatever problems occur can be solved by sitting down and discussing the matter with peace. Soon, these problems will end and people will have peace.”