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Afghans Want The Next Round Of Intra-Afghan Talks To Be Held In Afghanistan

On Saturday, negotiators of the Afghan government and the Taliban announced a three-week break on peace talks

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani is a senior journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Transcontinental Times.

AFGHANISTAN. Herat: As the first phase of Afghan peace talks ends in Doha, Qatar, prominent Afghan politicians called for the new stage of talks to be held in Afghanistan. On Saturday, the Afghan national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib said that the next round of peace negotiations between the teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban should be held in Afghanistan.

Mohib said that the Afghan government does not have any consideration with any location that is selected by the Taliban, underlining that talks within Afghanistan will build trust in the peace negotiations. He further added that it will provide the ability for Afghans to monitor, own the talks, and prevent them from more expenses in the talks.

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On Saturday, negotiators of the Afghan government and the Taliban announced a three-week break on peace talks. Nader Nadery, spokesman for the Afghan delegation tweeted, “Since the agenda items need further consultations, the two sides agreed for a recess and to resume the 2nd round of talks on January 5, 2021.” Both the Taliban spokesman and Nader Nadery thanked Qatar for their hospitality and prerequisite facilities.

Breakthroughs in peace talks

The first round of talks has ended on Saturday. Now, the two sides have decided to cease the peace talks and go on a three-week vacation. Since the start of intra-afghan peace talks on Sep 12, the two sides made little progress in talks as the violence continued to soar in the country. On December 2, the two sides announced to have reached an agreement on the procedural guidelines for the talks after three months of stalled talks.

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For a long time, a cease-fire between the two parties was demanded by the Afghan government and the international communities. Afghans now believes that the two sides should hold talks in Afghanistan to reduce violence against the citizens and to understand them. Murtaza, a social activist who spoke on this condition said, “When you can take a break in negotiations, why can’t you take a break in violence in the country.” He blamed the Afghan government and the Taliban for their “bad will” gesture and efforts in reducing the violence. 

Afghanistan still under clutches of violence

Several Afghan activists blamed the Taliban for not responding to the Afghan’s demand for a ceasefire. Tariq, from Kabul, told Transcontinental Times, “You[Taliban] claim to have control over 70% of Afghanistan territory, but why can’t you come to Afghanistan and hold the Talks here?” 

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If you can’t build trust now, you won’t do after a peace deal is made,” he said.

According to the data compiled by the Transcontinental Times, five journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since November 7, out if which two of the cases are not fully detailed. 

On Saturday, the Afghan capital Kabul rocked by the second fire-rockets in a month which left one civilian dead and many injured. According to the Afghan security officials, the rockets were mostly targeted to the civilians. Around 24 rockets landed in different parts of Kabul city on November 21, killing seven civilians and leaving 31 wounded.

Meanwhile, some critics rejected the idea of holding the 2nd round of talks in Afghanistan. Ali, a young political activist who spoke on this told Transcontinental Times, “If the government can’t protect its citizens in the capital, how can it hold the talks here?”

Saad Mohseni, director of MOBY groups tweeted, “A bit irresponsible given how many Afghans are dying daily. Perhaps the five star hotel life with endless buffets is a bit too much for some. Remember this: Afghanistan continues to bleed and every day you are not pushing for peace is a wasted opportunity.”


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