Afghanistan: List of 250 Afghans for holding talks with Taliban released

The administration of Afghanistan in Kabul has recently announced as a list of 250 people which also includes 50 women who will go to Qatar for holding talks with the Taliban in the weekend. The names which have been announced are mostly of ordinary people of Afghanistan. The names have been released by the officials in Kabul as Taliban have refused to hold any talks with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and has clarified that it will only recognise ordinary citizens of Afghanistan as the participants to the talks.

The meeting is being dubbed as the “Intra-Afghan Dialogue” will continue for two days and will commence on Saturday. The list is very comprehensive and has representatives from the political parties, officials of the government, figures of the opposition, former fighters, rights activists of women, families of war victims, Muslim leaders, youth and media groups, tribal elders and also the member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council. Latter is a body which generally handles all the peace efforts. It does not represent the government. It is not clarified that the names which have appeared in the list will actually be a part of the final meeting or not.

The women of Afghanistan have always raised the concern that they have been mostly left out from the peace process. During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan from 1996-2001, they did not allow women in the workforces, attend a school or even leaving go out of the home without a guardian. The women thus have raised fears that if the Taliban came into prominence again they might reimpose all the previous restrictions. Even during the last talks with the representatives from the Afghan and the Taliban, there was no conclusive outcome and no representative from the Ghani government.

Taliban has outrightly refused to meet any direct representatives of the Afghan government and has called them as the puppets of the Western government.

The group has already conducted many talks with US officials which were led by Zalmay Khalilzad who is also the special representative for Afghanistan. US and Taliban have reached a draft agreement in two principal areas: withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in return that the Taliban will not support al-Qaeda for making use of Afghanistan for conducting attacks on other countries.




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