“There are different options---we are ready to go to Doha, we hope that the Taliban get prepared as soon as possible so that we can sit together and seek ways for peace and make peace for a common future,” said Nader Nadery, a member of the peace negotiating team.
“The core principle and policy for peace is expected to be determined by the High Council of National Reconciliation---unfortunately, this has not happened so far. We hope this happens soon. The Afghan people are eager to see these activities started soon, but we are fully ready for our part,” said Fawzia Kofi, a member of the peace negotiating team.
Meanwhile, a number of civil society activists have said that continued violence by the Taliban against the Afghan people indicates that the Taliban have no will for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the country.
“The warring factions aren’t focusing on the violence of the people of Afghanistan, the voice of the religious minorities and the war victims,” said Mujib Khalwatgar, a civil society activist.
The members of the peace negotiating team also said that the High Council for National Reconciliation needs to complete its formation and define its agenda and its main principles for the intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.
The 21-member peace negotiating team is currently working in four groups as part of their preparations for talks with the Taliban.
The prisoner release saga:
The Taliban are saying that the group will not endorse the intra-Afghan talks unless the Afghan government releases its 5,000 prisoners from the jails.
The release of the Taliban prisoners is part of the US-Taliban deal signed in Doha in late February.
According to the Afghan government, so far, 4,015 Taliban prisoners have been released and that the process will continue this week.
Earlier this week, The Afghan government revealed one of the main reasons behind the delay in the intra-Afghan negotiations, saying it is not releasing 597 prisoners of the 5,000 inmates that were to be freed as part of the US-Taliban agreement, because these prisoners are being held not only for being affiliated with the Taliban, but because they are allegedly guilty of serious "moral" crimes.
Source : Afghan Voce Agency(AVA)