Ghani Says Taliban’s Demand for Islamic Government is Unclear

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KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani an article to Foreign Affairs said that the demands of Taliban about peace were vague and the movement needed to explain what type of future it wanted for Afghanistan. 
In his article published on Monday, the president said that a chance was available for stability in Afghanistan and his administration was able to negotiate with the Taliban about reaching an agreement for ending ongoing conflict.
“My government remains ready to continue talks with the Taliban. And, if it meant peace would be secured, I am willing to end my term early,” he said.
Ghani said that the Taliban’s definition of a future government for Afghanistan was vague. If they want an Islamic government, it already exists in Afghanistan, he added.
“Negotiations would require a credible and neutral mediator. That need is highlighted by the talks in Doha between the Afghan government and the Taliban; the talks lack such a mediator and have, so far, reached an impasse,” he added.
The first topics of negotiation must be reaching the desired end state and putting in place a comprehensive cease-fire to bring peace and respite to the daily lives of the Afghan people and to restore credibility and faith in the peacemaking process, he said.
 He said that cease-fires established during peace negotiations often failed and there was also need for international monitoring of a possible agreement on truce.
However, he said that negotiations with the Taliban would face tough problems on whether and how the insurgent group would cut ties with Pakistan, which according to him provided logistics, finance and recruitment support to the Taliban.
He warned that “If the Taliban refuse to negotiate, they will be choosing the peace of the grave.”