By Mrityunjoy Kumar JhaNew Delhi, Jan 12: The first ever face to face talk between the Taliban and their archrival Ahmad Massoud was a non-starter.According to close confidants of Massoud, the Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Mutaqqi rejected demands by the National Resistance Front (NRF) by saying that the Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani who is also the chief of Haqqani Network has already rejected these demands of decentralising the power and inclusive government.
According to the spokesperson of Ahmad Massoud led Afghan National Resistance Front, Sebghatullah Ahmadi, the Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Mutaqqi made this clear to Massoud during their talks that, “Haqqani Network has the upper hand and that the Haqqani Network is not in favour of meeting these demands.Hence, they cannot accept these demands till they marginalise the Haqqani Network in future,” Sebghatullah Ahmadi told BBC Persian.
He said in his interview to the channel that the Taliban minister admitted that there were internal differences in the Taliban regime on several issues but was hopeful “it will be solved in the future.”
According to Sebghatullah Ahmadi, Ahmad Massoud told Mutaqqi that “the issues of women’s rights, children’s rights, establishing a lawful govt through a fair election, eliminating tyranny, freedom of expression and changing the system to de-centralized, are our red lines and we will never cross these red lines”.
According to the NRF spokesperson, the reason for taking part in these talks was to test Taliban’s false claims for peace.
“Many countries in the region believed that the Taliban had changed.These talks were a test and now it has been proven that the Taliban have not changed and that their false claims that “we want peace” have been nothing but a lie,” he told BBC.
Interestingly, the confirmation about the meeting came first from the Taliban when on Monday the chief spokesperson of the group, Zabiullah Mujahid said in a Twitter post that, “Ismail Khan and Ahmad Massoud met with a delegation from the Islamic Emirate in Tehran.We assured all of them that they can come back to live freely and safely in Afghanistan.We (the Taliban) don’t intend to cause any security or other problems for anyone.”
The meeting took place in Tehran, where the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had invited the Taliban Minister to hold talks with the Panjshir leader & NRF supremo Massoud and “Lion of Herat” Ismail Khan.According to the NRF, the meetings were held in three sessions.
The development gains significance as Iran is actively trying to normalise the degrading situation in Afghanistan as it is “close” to the Taliban and leaders of the anti -Taliban front.After the Taliban’s capture of Power in Afghanistan in August last year, many of anti-Taliban leaders are in Iran.
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