“Intra-Afghan talks poised to kick-off on Monday”


KABUL: The long-anticipated peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to be launched this week in Doha, Qatar, to end the nearly two decades of fighting, some recent reports have revealed.

Sources familiar with hectic efforts for the start of the negotiations have told the Wall Street Journal that the warring sides were poised to sit across the negotiating table in Doha on Monday.

Although the government’s negotiating team delayed its planned departure for the Qatari capital on Friday, reports revealed that the delegation would fly to Doha today (Saturday).

This comes as there is no exact and fixed date finalized for the talks as they are being put off over one pretext or another over the last one week; the latest expected day for their launch was Friday. But it seems that deadline was crossed as well.

For now, the all-Afghan parleys hinge upon the completion of the Taliban technical teams’ process of cross-checking their released inmates with the lists they had submitted to the government.

However, the Afghan government informs of being ready for the talks but says the Taliban should show readiness in this regard. The government on Friday delayed its negotiating team’s travel to Qatar because apparently, the Taliban did not return to Doha from their visit to Pakistan.

On the other hand, some reports also showed that the Taliban were facing visa problems to visit Qatar from Pakistan. However, the Taliban refute these as baseless speculations, adding Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was already in Qatar.

A Taliban delegation led by Baradar visited Islamabad last month for discussing peace developments with the Pakistani government but it’s said they haven’t returned back to Qatar.