Taliban Sends Letters to Afghan Leaders Calling for Direct Talks

The Taliban has sent letters to a number of Afghan political leaders, calling on them to enter into direct talks with the group, sources familiar with the matter told TOLOnews on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the office of Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), confirmed that it had received a letter from the Taliban, however Abdullah’s office said that the letter is aimed to create discord on the republic side.

A close aide to Afghan former president Hamid Karzai has also confirmed that the Taliban in a letter to Karzai asked him to participate in direct talks.

“They have invited us for direct talks, but the republic side is unified and no efforts have been successful in creating discord on the republic side,” said Faraidon Khawzon, a spokesman to Abdullah.

However, the deputy head of HCNR, Atta-ur-Rahman Saleem, has said that the Taliban letter meant that individual efforts for peace will not yield an outcome.

“We have contacts with them (the Taliban) through letters and messages, but we have repeatedly told them that the problem of Afghanistan will not be resolved by consulting various channels and it further complicates the process,” said Saleem.

“Mr. Karzai believes that if there is a direct meeting, this could help bring a settlement soon,” said Gul Rahman Qazi, a close aide to former president Hamid Karzai.

Do the Taliban believe in peace?

“The Taliban do not believe in political participation, their narrative for direct talks is only aimed to create disagreements between the political leaders,” said political activist Wais Naseri.

The Taliban have so far not officially said anything about their letters to the Afghan politicians.