Pakistan: Taliban Forces Ready to Reduce Violence in Afghanistan

  • Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the Taliban's reduction in violence as "a step towards a peace deal," and "a delightful move."
  • Peace talks were halted after the Taliban attacked the US military base in the north of Kabul.
  • Reports have emerged last week of the resumption of talks in Qatar and mediation to continue progress in talks to reduce the use of violence in Afghanistan.

According to the Pakistani foreign minister, Afghan Taliban insurgents are ready to reduce violence in Afghanistan. Shah Mehmood Qureshi called the Taliban’s acceptance of curtailment of violent operations a positive step toward peace in the region. The issue has not yet been formally endorsed by the Taliban, and the Pakistani foreign minister has not released further details.

Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi is a Pakistani politician who is the current Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, in office since 20 August 2018. He has been a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan since August 2018 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in office since December 2011.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the Taliban’s reduction in violence as “a step towards a peace deal,” and “a delightful move.” He expressed hope that this would be a breakthrough for lasting peace throughout the region. Taliban leaders are said to be in Pakistan. Islamabad has repeatedly been accused of supporting the Taliban on its soil, which has been repeatedly denied by Pakistani authorities.

US representatives and Taliban forces resumed peace talks in early December, following a three-month hiatus. Peace talks were halted after the Taliban attacked the US military base in the north of Kabul. Taliban Islamists attacked the US military base and two civilians were killed and more than five were injured in the attack. Another attack killed ten civilians in southeastern Afghanistan in Ghazni province on December 6th. A bomb attack detonated an Afghan military base about two meters away. Afghan officials believe Taliban militants were behind the attacks.

Reports have emerged last week of the resumption of talks in Qatar and mediation to continue progress in talks to reduce the use of violence in Afghanistan. These reports have not yet been officially endorsed by the US or the Taliban. The new Taliban-US talks are primarily about a step-by-step withdrawal schedule for coalition forces and the Taliban’s assurance of no terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

So far, Taliban representatives have refused to talk to the Afghan government about peace in the country. The Taliban call the Afghan government a “Western puppet.” The US appears to have diminished the call for a “ceasefire” to “reduce violence” by the Taliban. The call for a complete ceasefire has not yet been agreed by Taliban officials.  The number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan is currently estimated at about 5,000.

US President Donald Trump traveled to Afghanistan in November 2019 to attend Thanksgiving and spoke to US troops stationed there. Donald Trump told US troops that Taliban forces in Afghanistan want to reach an agreement with the United States. The US president expressed optimism about such an agreement. Trump attended the dining hall of the US military base in Bagram and personally distributed food to US troops.  Speaking to troopers at Bagram’s base, Trump said that he knew no better place than to be present at the US troop gathering for such a celebration.

“Thanksgiving is a special day this year,” Trump said that the situation is much better than before. The American situation has never been so thriving. Trump once again raised the issue of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. He said he was confident of reaching an agreement with the Taliban on peacekeeping. In September, however, Trump announced an end to talks with the Taliban.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site. 

 


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