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President Hamid Karzai cannot offer any government position to the Taliban by way of a peace deal sweetener, but the people could give them any privileges if they so wanted, said political opposition leader Mohammad Muhaqiq on Thursday.

Speaking to TOLOnews, he said that any action the government is taking towards the Taliban and any armed opposition groups should be in close collaboration with the Afghan civil society and political opposition parties.

"Anything that happens should be transparent and all the parties including the political opposition and civil society should be involved in negotiations with Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami. Karzai cannot offer them any government position it is the right of the people," Muhaqiq said.

His comments come after reports from leading media outlets said Wednesday that Karzai had offered the Taliban key positions in the Ministry of Justice. However, these reports were not confirmed by the government and requests for comment from the presidential palace went unanswered today.

The Afghan High Peace Council, which is ostensibly meant to be leading the peace talks, said it is unaware of Karzai's offer.

"We are not aware of this offer - it could be rumors," HPC member Shahzada Shahid told TOLOnews on Thursday.

Other experts said that if the offer is true, it is premature and should have done through the High Peace Council.

"The High Peace Council chairman should have offered this, not President Karzai. [If true], it shows a lack of coordination between the peace council and government. It's also premature," analyst Jawid Kohistani said.

Former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha said he believes that the Taliban would not accept such an offer.

"This offer is premature and it will not have the desired result because Taliban will not accept it," Agha told TOLOnews.

The Afghan authorities and several other countries are trying to take the lead in bringing the Taliban into peace negotiations.

There are reports that the Taliban delegation in Qatar to build negotiations with the Afghan government have left for a short break to Norway to "see the snow".

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