The Taliban has not paid heed to the given three-day deadline of the activists of Helmand peace march who arrived in Kabul earlier last week and placed list of demands aimed at facilitating peace in the country.
The activists days earlier gave a three-day deadline for the Taliban to extend ceasefire with the government as part of their efforts to facilitate peace talks between Kabul-Taliban in strife-torn country.
Last week, they met with President Ashraf Ghani and asked the president to agree on their four key demands that included the extension of ceasefire, a venue for peace talks, “joint system” that could preserve the interests of all citizens and withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
In response to their given three-day deadline, the activists on Saturday (June 23), said that the Taliban leadership has contacted them and that it stressed on withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
“They stressed once again on withdrawal of foreign forces particularly, asked us again to hold protest tents near Baghram Airbase [in Parwan province], ” said Iqbal Khyber, the head of the peace convoy.
Following the Taliban’s silence response to their demands, the activists are expected to launch a three-day long protest tents in front of some embassies in the capital Kabul including the embassies of the U.S., Russia, Pakistan and Iran from Sunday.
“The members of our leadership will be present and then would go to the embassies and will stay for three days in each of the embassies,” said Azad, a member of the peace convoy.
“We clarify that these [foreign] political offices and international forces in Afghanistan are not here to ensuring peace, but making efforts to destroy peace and stability in the country,” Iqbal Khyber said.
This comes the government has accepted all of the placed demands of the peace activists, including conditionally extension of ceasefire with the Taliban to one year.
“Unofficial contacts and talks have been maintained in the past, but an appropriate time is needed for ensuring official talks [with the Taliban],” said a presidential advisor Abas Basir.
By Shakib Mahmud and Bayes Hayat