Delegates from mainstream political parties and the civil society are preparing to attend a second meeting with the Taliban next month in Qatar, but the Afghan government, which has not confirmed or rejected its presence at the meeting, remains skeptical about the outcome of the conference.
At least 80 delegates, including the 40 delegates of Moscow meeting, as well as the civil society members will attend the meeting on April 14 and 15 in Qatar, sources confirmed.
This will be a follow-up of the Moscow talks which was held between Afghan politicians and the Taliban in Moscow back in February.
“This meeting is not peace talks, but it is a discussion on peace,” President Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said on Saturday. “Discussions will have an achievement when the government and the Taliban hold face-to-face talks.”
Chakhansuri said government will form an inclusive negotiating team in the near future.
Despite government’s skepticism about the outcome of the upcoming Qatar meeting, some politicians remain highly optimistic about the talks while others stress on engagement of all Afghans at such meetings.
“The political parties of Afghanistan, the Afghan government, the Taliban and civil society organizations should reach to a conclusion which is acceptable for allAfghans,” said Mohammad Ismail Khan, member of the leadership of Jamiat-e-Islami Party.
“It will be better if politicians should first create coordination among themselves and then they should sit and discuss national issues and ultimately they should talk with the Taliban,” political analyst Jawed Faisal suggested.
Main topics of the meeting, sources said, will be the post-peace deal government, share of political parties in that government, and a ceasefire aimed at ending war and violence in the country.
“The Afghan politicians and Taliban will talk about the future of Afghanistan and about a government which will possibly include the entire Afghanistan,” said Nazar Mohammad Mutmaen, a political affairs analyst.
“A national consensus should be created in this regard and an interim government should be established so that it can manage both peace and elections,” said Qadir Shah, a spokesman for Mohammad Haneef Atmar’s election team.
Afghan politicians recently said government has been invited to attend the Qatar meeting, but the Presidential Palace has said that the Afghan government will not attend meetings in Moscow format.
Afghans from different parts of the country said the achievements of the past 18 years should be reserved in the peace process.
“The talks should be positive and positive responses should be given,” said Bashir, a Nangarhar resident.
“When they start negotiations, they should put people’s demands and red lines on the table,” said Arifa, a Balkh resident.