June 16, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8801

Taliban Set Agenda For Intra-Afghan Talks: 'Women's Rights, Education System, And The Military Will Be Shaped As Per Islamic Shari'a'

June 16, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8801

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The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) has set its conditions for the intra-Afghan talks to begin, saying that it will not accept the Western system of democracy and elections, according to an Urdu-language daily. The intra-Afghan talks are mandated as part of the U.S.-Taliban deal that was signed on February 29, 2020 in Doha. The talks are expected to give the Islamic Emirate a share of power in Kabul.

The daily Roznama Ummat quoted an unidentified member of the Taliban negotiating team as saying: "Our sacrifices of 19 years were not for any Western democracy [in Afghanistan]. If the Islamic shari'a doesn't prevail in Afghanistan, our struggle has no benefit." He added: "We are not hungry for power. We were offered power long ago. The American officials had made the offer to give entire Afghanistan to the Taliban, but the Taliban were not ready to govern as part of the current system [of democracy]."

The intra-Afghan talks will begin anytime this month in Doha if the conditions set by both sides are accepted. The Islamic Emirate is participating in the talks with a team of Afghan officials and members of political parties and civil society organizations. The Islamic Emirate does not recognize the elected Afghan government but has accepted it as part of the Afghan delegation.

"The Taliban's objective is the enforcement of Islamic shari'a. The health system, women's rights, education system, and the military will be shaped as per Islamic shari'a. The Taliban are in favor of giving more facilities for women's education, but the Western democracy cannot become part of the system of Afghanistan," the Taliban negotiator said.

The Urdu daily noted that as part of the conditions, there could be a long ceasefire in Afghanistan, with the Taliban not leaving their current positions in areas under their control while Afghan security forces will have to leave areas where the Taliban have influence.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government has continued to free Taliban prisoners. According to the report, a Taliban team visited the Bagram jail on the night of June 8-9 "in the presence of American officials" to identify the Taliban prisoners. Mullah Nasruddin Badakhshani, who led the five-member Taliban delegation, said that 88 prisoners were freed and that more are being released from prisons in Bamyan and Nangarhar.

Source: Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), June 10, 2020.

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