Taliban Backs Out Of International Peace Talks – Again

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Taliban however rejected the offer in a statement on Saturday, terming the peace efforts as meaningless and the armed outfit’s leadership has yet to decide on peace talks with the government.

Pakistan has leverage over the Taliban because the group enjoys sanctuary in Pakistani territory, and many of its fighters receive medical treatment there.
The quartet said that the Afghan government and Taliban were expected to meet for face-to-face peace talks by the first week of March in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The pace of US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will be at the center of Ghanis visit to Washington, yet Americas exit from the war remains tightly hinged to the abilities of the Afghan forces that face a tough fight against insurgents this spring.
Pakistan brokered direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban last summer following the announcement of the death of the group’s founder Mullah Omar some two years earlier.
Experts believe that China and U.S. push Pakistan to arrange talks as a “go between” but Pakistan has lost that balancing power long ago and now Taliban are gaining grounds so they should not listen Pakistan or anybody else and talks may be held once they (Taliban) get ground successes in provinces where they are already engage.
The Taliban have meanwhile accused the United States of boosting troop numbers and carrying out airstrikes and night raids on residential compounds.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani announced that militant group ISIS has been defeated in eastern Afghanistan. It added that fresh American forces have deployed to the battlefield and that Afghan forces have also intensified their operations.
The Taliban have been waging an insurgency against the Afghan government since being ousted in 2001.
“We want peace and no one should doubt our intentions”, the Afghan president said.
The Taliban have also stepped up attacks on government and foreign targets in Afghanistan – even in the winter months when fighting usually abates – underscoring a worsening security situation. “Of course, we aren’t happy that these talks aren’t being held in Afghanistan”, Mr. Karzai told The Hindu in an interview in Delhi.
However, Ghani said that it is not a civil war in Afghanistan, Afghans are all brothers, and it is “indeed imposed war”.