Taliban has no plans for governance: Mansoor

Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, a member of government’s negotiating team, said on Saturday the Taliban has no plan in place to govern, but their “power-hungry and narrow-minded spirit has not changed.”

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on the first round of peace talks and its future prospects Mansoor said the Taliban are eager to rule but have no operational plans to govern.
The discussion was organized by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS).

Mansoor, and Hossain Ramouz, a university lecturer, were speakers at the session.

Mansoor said “we have to move towards an interim government while maintaining the current” system adding that preserving the current achievements and values of the past 20 years is a must.

“By preserving the framework of the system and human values, we have to move towards an interim government, and the structure of this government must be a Chancellery,” Mansoor said.

According to him, Taliban are not a political group, but they want power.

“The mentality of the Taliban has not changed at all, the Taliban still has a militaristic sense and thinks they can achieve power through war.”

Ramouz said that the version of Sharia introduced by the Taliban would not be a good development model.

“The Taliban must abandon totalitarianism, because it is not possible, and both negotiators must agree to merge the republic and the Emirate, but we need to first have a clear definition of the Taliban’s Emirate,” Ramouz said.

Meanwhile, referring to the challenges the negotiating team faced in the peace talks with Taliban Mansoor said: “The Taliban does not accept anything called a republic or a government. The Taliban want to launch a religious game (Shia and Sunni).”

Mansoor also said that the Taliban think the women in the government’s negotiating team are only symbolic.

“Issues about women cannot be just on paper, women must be at the table. The Taliban think the women in the government’s negotiating team are symbolic, but they [women] have shown that they are taking strong steps to defend their rights and humanity,” Mansoor said.

Mansoor also said that the Taliban are not a religious movement nor can they justify their war.

“The Taliban is not a religious movement because they [Taliban] are not ready for a religious debate in any area, and their war has no religious justification and is not defendable,” Mansoor added.

He also raised concerns over differences of opinion between the government and the High Council of National Reconciliation.

“There are differences of opinion between the government and the High Council of National Reconciliation that need to be addressed as soon as possible.”

Mansoor also blamed the Taliban for the recent attacks on journalists.

“There is no doubt that the Taliban are involved in the recent killing and assassination of journalists,” Mansoor added.

Bismillah Adil, a Ghor journalist, was gunned down in a targeted attack on Friday.

Adil’s death is the latest in a string of targeted killings of media workers, civil society activists, and civil servants who have been systematically killed over the past few months.

In just two months, five journalists have been killed in the country in what is perceived as a ploy to silence the free media in the country.