Kabul, Mar 2 : The Afghan government does not stand against the Taliban running in elections, as this will test the Afghan people’s confidence in the group, Foreign Minister Mohammed Haneef Atmar said in an interview with Sputnik.
“We understand the rights of the Taliban as Afghan citizens. If they think about the Afghan people, if they are convinced that [they] are fighting for the Afghan people and hold their confidence, then, please, let them run in the elections and see if the Afghans want to accept the Taliban’s position or not. The elections will become a criterion of Afghan people’s trust in us or the Taliban,” Atmar said.
In late February, the minister told Sputnik that the Afghan government set no deadline in negotiations with the Taliban movement and was not able to abandon talks due to its responsibility to the Afghan people. The top Afghan diplomat added that Kabul remained committed to the peace process and would never leave the negotiating table.
The intra-Afghan peace talks kicked off in Qatar’s Doha last September but have so far failed to put an end to the confrontation on the ground. On the contrary, Afghanistan has witnessed a spate of bomb attacks and clashes in recent months, with the military continuing to regularly conduct operations against Taliban insurgents.