ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban negotiators have said that Tuesday’s brazen attacks near the Afghan Presidential palace in Kabul will not affect the Qatar peace process.
The attack was carried out at the heart of Kabul city close to the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Defence, a major ISAF base, the American embassy and dozens of other government and non-government organisations, officials say.
Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said a group of eight heavily armed Taliban militants launched early attacks on a hotel where the Americans and other foreigners were staying and the Afghan Ministry of Defence and other government buildings are located. He claimed the fighters inflicted heavy losses on the ‘invading forces’ in the Khaled bin Walid spring operations.
The Taliban attack raised doubts about the Qatar dialogue process, which could not start following Kabul’s refusal to join it.
However, a Taliban official in Qatar said on Tuesday that the Kabul attacks would not affect the peace process as it is a “political track” and that there is no ceasefire agreement between the Taliban, the US and the Karzai’s regime.
“The Qatar process is in fact for the purpose to stop such attacks and to avoid more bloodshed,” the Taliban official told The Express Tribune via a phone call from Doha. He requested anonymity.
“No incident should be cited as an excuse for halting the peace process,” he said.
The Taliban official warned that no side should lose the peace chance in Qatar as ‘it has started after a long time, complicated and hectic consultations.’
“The issue of the Taliban military operations is completely separate as before the Kabul attack, the Taliban had also carried out more major operations,” he said.
Source: Express Tribune