|History and Biodata
Talks between the United States and the Taliban resumed Dec 7, 2019, in Doha, Qatar, three months after President Trump canceled the negotiations abruptly. A Western source with knowledge of the discussions said that the aim was to essentially “pick up where they left off.”
“The Taliban are complaining about the US setting frequent and new conditions. After the US-Iran tensions, the US wants the Taliban to break up with Iran,” said Hekmatyar. The Taliban has not officially said anything in the matter, but some of the former members of the group underlined that the conditions from the US have cast a shadow on the Talks. “The repeated conditions received from the US Ministry of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and the White House have created an atmosphere of distrust between the Taliban and the US. The Talks will not conclude in a desirable way if there is no trust between the parties,” said the former Attorney General of the Taliban, Jalaluddin Shinwari.
As of now, the Peace Talks between the Taliban and the US delegation in Qatar, have been put on hold for unknown reasons. The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is expected to meet Afghan leaders in Kabul once the Taliban finalize their position on the reduction of violence, according to a source close to the process. (20200115)
Senior members of the Afghan Taliban have reportedly agreed to a 10-day ceasefire with the United States and ‘bringing a major decrease in attacks or violence’ against the Afghan government and their armed forces in Afghanistan, Taliban sources said on Wednesday (20200115).
“There had been discussions for the past few weeks and after thorough deliberations, our decision-making body Rehbari Shura (leadership council) has agreed to a 10-day ceasefire with the US in Afghanistan. For the Afghan government and its armed forces, our leadership has decided to reduce attacks or whatever you call it,” a top Taliban leader and part of their 26-member leadership council from somewhere in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. Pleading anonymity, as he is not authorised to interact with the media, the Taliban leader said that all sides would start acting on the ceasefire from the day when Taliban and US sign a peace accord in Doha. According to the Taliban, following the approval given by the Rehbari Shura, Taliban supreme leader Maulvi Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada also agreed to the ceasefire plan. The Taliban leader claimed that the peace talks with the US had entered a final stage and they could sign the peace accord anytime shortly. “We may not announce the ceasefire publicly but would make sure our military commanders to implement it wholeheartedly in the areas under their control. All sides had promised to sincerely honour their commitment and follow the ceasefire in their respective areas” said the Taliban leader.
During the ceasefire period, the Taliban would stop all types of attacks against the US and Afghan forces. “We would not carry out any type of attack during the proposed ceasefire period. There would be no suicide attacks, IEDs, target killing anywhere in Afghanistan from our side when the ceasefire is implemented,” the Taliban leader vowed. According to the Taliban, their peace talks with the US in Doha had completed quite earlier but the signing of the peace deal was delayed as the US wanted the Taliban to announce a ceasefire during the peace talks and also stop attacking the Afghan forces. It is seen a major change in Taliban policy as they also agreed to stop attacking the Afghan security forces after they sign a peace deal with the US. Until now, the Taliban had refused to give any relaxation to the Afghan government and its armed forces. The Taliban said they had mentioned their areas or provinces where they are in control and it is agreed that neither US nor Afghan force will enter there or conduct any type of operation in those areas after the ceasefire is announced. “We would see how much the US is sincere in the peace talks and how the Afghan government reacts to the proposed peace accord if it reaches with the US. We can then extend it in case they responded positively,” said the Taliban leader. During the ceasefire period, the Taliban said their fighters would not go to the areas where US military bases and forces are stationed in Afghanistan. Also, they would not enter the areas where the Afghan government and its military installations are based. “We would not even use the road where the Afghan forces had set up checkpoints to avoid any confrontation. And would expect a similar response to the ceasefire plan,” the Taliban said. Taliban said people would need to make a difference between the ceasefire with the US and bringing a reduction in attacks or violence against the Afghan government. “At the moment we are holding direct peace talks with the US and our ceasefire will mean only for them. For the Afghan government, we will bring a reduction in attacks and it will be depended on them how they respond to it,” the Taliban leader explained.
The Taliban leader said they are expected to sign a peace accord with the US in the coming few days. “What we know is that all is set for signing the peace deal with the US. Once we are done with the US, we will then initiate the intra-Afghan peace talks and the venue is most probably could be Germany,” said the Taliban commander.(20200116)
There will be a 10-day brief ceasefire between the Taliban fighters and Afghanistan National Army before signing a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban. The peace negotiations between the Taliban and the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad resumed on Thursday Jan 16, 2020 after the Taliban announced their Chief, Mullah Haibatullah Akhund has agreed to a 10-day ‘ceasefire’. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesperson said in a tweet early Friday morning that they have discussed ‘signing a peace deal’ with the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday.(20200117)
The Taliban leader has said that the reduction of violence in major cities of Afghanistan will be implemented once the US signs the peace deal, which must include a plan for the withdrawal of foreign forces, the sources said, quoting Taliban officials. “The religious scholars have suggested that Mullah Hibatullah agree to a seven-day reduction of violence on condition that the US sign the peace agreement during these seven days,” said Sami Yousufzai, a freelance journalist. According to the sources, if the reduction of violence is implemented, the Taliban will not attack the cities, they will not launch suicide attacks and will not block major highways. But the Afghan government still insists on a ceasefire.(20200118)
A source close to the ongoing peace negotiations between Taliban and the US diplomats, have said that the talks had been lengthened as the sides are unable to agree on a complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the release of 5,000 Taliban fighters from government custody. American negotiators had been haggling on the number of their soldiers for protection of the US embassy in the past nine rounds of talks, but Taliban did not agree. Taliban rejected Khalilzad’s ceasefire demand before signing of the peace deal. “The talks over date and venue for signing the peace deal continued Wednesday Jan 22, 2020 in Qatar,” said Maulavi Qalamuddin, minister of vice and virtue in Taliban’s government. “Of course everything was not resolved. The details on the date and venue of signing ceremony are not simple matters. It is very important that who is going to sign it and where it is signed. Who should be present at the ceremony. Which countries should monitor and which ones should guarantee.”(20200123)