Taliban Reiterates Its Focus Is On Withdrawal Of Foreign Troops

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a Taliban representative who attended the Moscow meeting on Friday on peace in Afghanistan said any talks for them are divided into two categories – first with the US and secondly with Afghanistan.

He said the group would first discuss issues concerning the US with the Americans and reiterated that their main demand was the withdrawal of foreign troops. 

He also said the Taliban does not consider the current government in Afghanistan as legitimate.  

Speaking to reporters in Moscow Stanikzai said: “Our demand for the peace process has two parts, the first part is with Americans; all those matters which are related to Americans like the withdrawal of their forces, the black list and officially recognizing our political office (in Qatar) and other issues which are related to the Americans; they should be discussed with the Americans; they should be discussed with America on the table.”

“Those matters which are related to the Afghan side which are mostly internal affairs like the future government, the constitution and there are many other issues; can be discussed with the Afghan side,” Stanikzai added. 

Stanikzai also said the Taliban do not have a problem with women’s education and women in the work place. 

“Taliban was not even opposed to the issue during their regime, this was just baseless propaganda against the Taliban, regarding women’s rights, whatever rights Islam gives them, we are persuaded by that, in terms of  rights of education, rights to work or rights of owning property, we don’t have a problem with it,” Stanikzai told reproters. 

Stanikzai also rejected allegations that they are being supplied weapons by Russia. 

The Moscow summit on peace in Afghanistan was held on Friday where representatives of the Taliban and envoys from 11 countries including the United States participated. 

The Afghan government did not send a delegation but representatives from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) did attend. 

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