Former Taliban official Mutasim Agha Jan says the Taliban’s announcement of a three-day ceasefire with the government shows that the group is committed to peace talks.
Speaking to Ariana News on Thursday, Agha Jan said that the United States is the biggest obstacle in peace process between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
He said the High Peace Council (HPC) is not an independent council and serves for the interest of the aliens.
“The government announced ceasefire with the Taliban and the Taliban did the same. This idea has been created from both sides; it needs to be development and this opportunity should be counted,” Agha Jan said who had served as senior advisor to the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Commenting on the suicide attacks by the Taliban, he said that committing “sacrificed” attacks for “holy purposes” such as for achieving freedom of the country or to preserving Islamic values are “legitimate”.
However, he stressed that discussions are underway within the Taliban to avoid civilian casualties mainly caused by such kind of attacks.
In reaction to Agha Jan’s remarks, the deputy head of HPC, Abdul Khyber Ochqun, said: “If he suggests Shahadat [martyrdom] for others while he himself escapes from, then it is absolutely haram to link such things to Isteshhad (Martyrdom seeking).”
In an hour-long interview with Ariana News, Agha Jan also described the current Afghan government as the U.S. “poppet”, and rated the performance of the HPC as “null”.
“Today if Ashraf Ghani [the president] get rid of the U.S. support, tomorrow the Taliban will call him as brother and will announce permanent ceasefire,” he said.
His comments come as the Taliban have intensified attacks on the Afghan security forces across the country, following the government’s a week-long unilateral ceasefire with the militant group.