National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Wednesday warned opposition groups that they should join the peace process as the doors for peace will not be open forever and that if they continue to fight the government they will face the full wrath of the military.
“Our request is that Afghan Taliban use this opportunity. Peace doors will not remain open to the armed opposition forever and if they do not join the peace process we will ask three countries to take action against them,” said Atmar.
He said that government had approached Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the head of Hezbe-Islami Party, to join the peace process. However, the Afghanistan government does not care about the person or the Taliban faction’s identity but only in the results of talks and an end to war, he added.
“We will not go for peace with those who are not Afghans or fighting against the Afghanistan people,” Atmar said.
The comments come just a day after members of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) agreed at the end of their 4th meeting in Kabul to hold direct talks with the Taliban and other armed opposition groups in the first week of March. Pakistan will host the talks.
“Pakistan is responsible for hosting the first round of peace talks between authorized representatives of the Afghan government and authorized Taliban representatives,” said Ahmad Shoaib Mustaghni Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.
But a number of Afghans emphasized the need for U.S and Chinese representatives to be present in the QCG meetings and that any neglect on their part could be detrimental to Afghanistan.
“U.S and China have special representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan and they must participate in the meetings and their presence in the coming meeting can give importance to the meeting,” said Nasrullah Stanikzai a university lecturer.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s commitment to bring the Taliban to the peace talks table within two weeks is, to many critics, a clear indication of their involvement with the group.
The question critics are now asking however is whether Pakistan can bring all terrorist groups to the table of negotiations.
“This time Pakistan is serious about bringing the groups that are under their control such as Haqqani network, Hezbe Islami party of Afghanistan and other groups under the leadership of Mullah Mansour to the table of negotiations, but time will tell us whether all the groups will be ready to join the process or the negations or not. However, Taliban is not a united group,” said Jawed Kohistani a political analyst.
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