KABUL, Afghanistan (Rahnuma) : The Afghan government will invite Taliban representatives to capital Kabul as part of ongoing peace efforts, a top official said Thursday.
“We will officially invite Taliban officials to the national peace meeting in the coming days,” Mohammad Umer Daudzai, head of the High Peace Council tasked with striking a peace deal with the militants, told Anadolu Agency.
Daudzai said the meeting would be attended by some 2,000 Afghan citizens, representing people from all walks of life, adding that he was expecting fruitful results following the participation of Taliban representatives.
He went on to say that he was expecting a second meeting between the Taliban, Afghan politicians and civil society representatives in Qatar, later this month.
“Following the national peace meeting, the Afghan politicians and NGOs will prepare to hold talks with the Taliban in Qatar. We hope for representation of the Afghan government in this meeting,” he said.
Referring to peace negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban, he said the Afghan nation was not informed in a transparent manner and there were many questions to be answered.
Mohammad Yusuf Saha, a spokesman for former President Hamid Karzai, said the peace talks in Qatar on April 14-15 would be attended by a “powerful” delegation comprising politicians and civil society representatives.
It is not yet known whether the Afghan government will attend the talks in Qatar where U.S. officials and Taliban representatives will gather.
The Afghan government is increasingly feeling sidelined as the Taliban are not willing to talk with Kabul, resulting in a stalemate.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, is meeting Afghan officials as part of his tour to the region.
Khalilzad has met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a woman peace negotiation delegation and tribal leaders in southern Afghanistan.
The visiting top U.S. peace envoy on Tuesday acknowledged the importance of taking Afghan government on board in the peace process.
The Taliban still dominates many parts of Afghanistan, posing a great threat to the government led by Ghani and this situation leads to a serious security challenge in the country.
Despite the government’s efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban in recent years and establishing the Peace Council, no concrete result has been achieved yet.