Middle East

Afghan president offers to recognise Taliban as political group

Afghan president offers to recognise Taliban as political group

Kabul: Extending olive branch, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday offered to recognise the Taliban insurgents as a legitimate political group.

Speaking at the 2nd Kabul Process Conference, which is being attended by officials from around 25 countries, Ghani urged the militant group to shun violence and asked them to come forward to accept peace, in order to save the country.

He said that the peace process and a ceasefire must be agreed upon and that the Taliban must be declared a “political group”, TOLOnews reported.

The Afghan President tried to woo the Taliban with several offers such as providing security to those who join the peace process, freeing prisoners, removing sanctions against Taliban leaders, providing passports and visas for the Taliban members and their families and opening an “office” for the militant group, including in the capital Kabul.

“The Afghan government must be accepting and we will also work on the list of freeing Taliban prisoners”, TOLOnews quoted the Afghan President, as saying.

Ghani thanked the delegates for their support to the peace process in Afghanistan and said that the threats are increasing and the enemies of the country are transnational criminals.

Earlier in his speech, Ghani said that his country was determined to overcome the current threats affecting peace, adding that Kabul was going all out to ensure long-lasting peace in the region.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani earlier said that peace in Afghanistan would benefit the whole region and the world at large.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Ghani stated that his country would present a detailed peace offer to the Taliban and Pakistan on behalf of the Afghan people during the meeting.

“We wish to march toward a lasting peace in #Afghanistan and in the region!” he wrote on Twitter.

The Afghan president also called on Pakistan to sit down for talks for the sake of peace and proposed that the talks could be held in Kabul, adding that he wanted to start afresh and forget about the past.

Kabul, in recent times, has accused Islamabad of supporting cross-border terrorism and harbouring the Taliban.

The ongoing meeting aims to secure support for an agreement to end backing of cross-border terrorism and to find a peaceful solution in ending the decades-long insurgency in Afghanistan.

The conference comes after a series of deadly terrorist attacks that have ravaged the country in recent weeks, killing over 150 people, especially in the capital, Kabul. (ANI)