Taliban Deputy Leader Baradar Calls for Doha Deal Implementation

Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said that to achieve progress in the peace negotiations there is a need for the implementation of the Doha agreement. His statement comes amid ramped-up fighting across the country and the fall of dozens of districts to the Taliban.

Baradar, in an article published Sunday on the group’s website, stressed the importance of protecting citizens’ rights based on the teachings of Islam. He wrote that the group wants the establishment of a “real Islamic system” in Afghanistan.

Baradar, who also heads the Taliban’s office in Doha, said that the release of the remaining prisoners and the removal of Taliban leaders from the UN blacklist are important for progress in the peace negotiations.

“A real Islamic system is the best tool for solving all the problems faced by Afghans,” Baradar writes, “And it is the only demand for which all layers of Afghan society are united and do not oppose.”

He said that Afghans want “a powerful Islamic system to protect Afghanistan from invasion and the interference of foreigners and also to assure the world of peace in Afghanistan.”

He faintly referenced women’s rights, saying the group sees itself as committed to the rights of all Afghans–men and women–under Islamic teachings in light of desirable Afghan traditions.

But Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in an interview with TOLOnews on Sunday said that the Taliban so far has no clear definition of an Islamic system and has not clarified whether they will accept an election under a future government.

“So far, unfortunately, The Taliban has failed to have a clear definition and interpretation about a future government in which the details of the system, the leader and the role of the people are specified,” Hekmatyar said.

The Presidential Palace, meanwhile, called the Taliban remarks a trick.

“They are not sincere in their remarks. They only want to deceive the people of Afghanistan,” a presidential spokesman Mohammad Amiri said.

Meanwhile, Hekmatyar in an opinion piece–a copy of which was sent to TOLOnews–blamed the Afghan government and the Taliban for the lack of a plan in the Doha negotiations. He said that success from the Doha agreement will not be possible.

“The details of the Doha talks, in terms of the formation of the delegation and its venue, should change. The talks should change to another place,” Hekmatyar said.

The Doha negotiations are currently locked in a stalemate while fighting is reported in 24 provinces in the last 24 hours.