KABUL: The Taliban on Saturday took exception to the recent remarks by President Ashraf Ghani’s administration regarding the Taliban prisoners and peace negotiations, dismissing the Afghan government as ‘American puppet’.
The Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, in a statement dubbed the remarks as ‘irresponsible’, adding that they showed the Kabul administration was still trying to create hurdles for the peace process and that too on the verge of intra-Afghan negotiations.
This comes as a few days back, an advisor to President Ghani stated that ‘intra-Afghan’ term ascribed to the negotiation process was incorrect and that talks were going to be held between the Kabul administration and the Taliban.
Moreover, President Ghani during a video conference arranged by the US Council of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said the Taliban prisoners being released were a threat to international security as they were convicted drug traffickers and hardened criminals.
In reaction to these remarks, the group said it strongly condemned and rejected “these spiteful and ill remarks,” adding “We only accept and have made preparations for negotiations that were described in the historic Doha agreement and those are intra-Afghan negotiations that cover all parties to the Afghan conflict.”
The insurgent group alleged their inmates were imprisoned, slandered and falsely accused by the intelligence agencies, “even though everyone knows [who] is knee-deep in administrative and moral corruption?”
Mujahid stated that peace talks and negotiations required all sides to display sincerity and truthfulness. “Propaganda, unwarranted remarks and provocative comments do not benefit any side,” the statement concluded.
The Afghan government has been contacted to provide comments in this regard; their views to follow soon.