Doha-Based Afghan Taliban Spokesman Naeem Wardak Rejects Ceasefire: 'It Does Not Make Sense To End 20 Years Of War In One Hour'

September 17, 2020

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Amid the intra-Afghan talks underway in Doha, Muhammad Naeem Wardak, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization), has ruled out any ceasefire in Afghanistan to facilitate a path to peace, according to an Afghan news website.

Muhammad Naeem Wardak was appointed spokesman in September 2020

Muhammad Naeem Wardak was appointed as the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate's Political Office in Doha on the eve of the intra-Afghan talks, which began on September 12, 2020. The Taliban spokesman said that the Islamic Emirate "will not agree to a ceasefire unless the peace negotiators can discuss the main cause of the war in the country at the peace negotiating table."

"It does not make sense to end 20 years of war in one hour. In our perspective, it will be logical to discuss the main aspects of the problems and the war and then finalize a ceasefire so that the problem is resolved permanently," Mohammad Naeem Wardak told journalist Karim Amini of ToloNews in Doha.

Right through the 18 months of negotiations, which resulted in the U.S.-Taliban deal in February 2020 and now through the intra-Afghan talks, the Taliban's strategy has been to hold talks and simultaneously fight the Afghan security forces, with their hope being to destabilize the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani and seize power in Kabul.

"Suppose, if we announce a ceasefire today, but then we fail to reach an agreement at the negotiating table tomorrow, do we go toward the war again? What does this mean," the Taliban spokesman said, adding that the Islamic Emirate wants the establishment of an Islamic system in which the values of people of the country are reflected.

Mohammad Naeem Wardak, whose organization has reached a deal with the U.S. to allow for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, added: "One of our objectives was to end the [American] invasion of Afghanistan, the other one was that there is a true Islamic system that is answerable to the public and the nation."

"We have entered the peace process with a strong will and determination, we want this problem finally to be resolved. The process is complicated, and it has its own complexities, but we are hopeful that the problems come to an end," he said, adding that the intra-Afghan talks will have some ups and downs.

Source: (Afghanistan), September 16, 2020.

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