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Afghanistan Times

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Editorial: Secret talks between government and Taliban

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A series of secret talks between government delegation and representatives from Taliban is underway. The matter was disclosed by the US troops’ commander in Afghanistan, while neither the government nor Taliban militants have said anything about the talks. John Nicholson, however, did not provide further details about the talks, but called it successful because it was not publicized.

President Ashraf Ghani had earlier said his administration was ready to hold talks with the Taliban without any pre conditions and wherever that the militants want to be held. He further called on the insurgents to appear as a political party and open office in Kabul. But Ghani’s requests remained unanswered by the group, who believes that Kabul is trying to weaken them under the pretext of peace.

Now, the government is facing a question from the people over holding secret talks. Why did the government keep the talks away from people? Does the government not trust them to share its political developments? What is the talks process for?

The government as the representative of people, has to inform them about everything it does, because it works for them and it would be meaningless to hide something from them unless there is something that people do not want to be done.

Another matter which is important not to be ignored and that is the achievements gained in the past 17 years. We have a democratic system consisting of people with different ethnic backgrounds. We have freedom of speech although at its least. Girls and women can go to schools and work outside houses. Our international relationships are in good level. These are all the things that should not be victimized in the talks.

Nicholson has claimed a 30 per cent decrease in Taliban attacks between February and April, calling the talks between government and Taliban as the reason. The insurgents announced their spring offensive in April and have since intensified attacks. Several districts were fallen to the militants, provincial capital of Farah province fell to them and situation in Ghazni is very volatile with some districts under the danger of fall.

The situation in general is worse than it was at the same period of time last year. This is like someone insults you and you praise him and thank him for insulting. The government should not continue this way. Any negotiations with any armed group should be in favor of the people of Afghanistan. This is not acceptable that you sit in talks with the rivals and they kill your people at the same time. This is not acceptable either to keep talks and its consequences secret from people.