At a press conference theTaliban negotiator Shahabuddin Delawar made the tall claim that "85 percent of Afghanistan's territory" is under the group's control, including some 250 of the country's 398 districts
As the Taliban fighters have been advancing, the militant group has announced that it was discussing a possible ceasefire with the Afghan government
It promised to halt its offensive if talks in Doha are successful, says the Russian media as the visiting Taliban delegation held a news conference in Moscow on Friday.
At a press conference theTaliban negotiator Shahabuddin Delawar made the tall claim that "85 percent of Afghanistan's territory" is under the group's control, including some 250 of the country's 398 districts. Without giving any details, Delawar said they are in talks with other Afghans to discuss a new system "that should be Islamic, Afghan-inclusive and united,” as reported by the Afghan news channel Tolo News.
A day before, on Thursday after two days of rigorous meetings between the Afghan government team led by Yunus Qanouni and the Taliban by Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai in Tehran, it was decided that war was not the solution to the Afghan problem and that “a peaceful solution should be sought.”
Stanikzai is the head of the Taliban's political office in Doha.
As the west departs, there is fear that Afghanistan is on the verge of the civil war. According to Afghan army’s intelligence reports, “Pakistani” fighters in numbers are fighting along with Talibani fighters.
The Afghan foreign Minister Hanif Atmar has asked Pakistan to help Afghanistan.
“We expect Pakistan to help us stop the Taliban's brutal campaign, supply and support. Pakistan should help bring them to the negotiating table,” Atmar told the Pakistani news channel Geo TV on Friday.
The Afghan Foreign Minister said that apart from Al Qaeda and ISIS, there are regional militant groups including TTP, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, ITIM, Ansarullah and Jundullah are fighting along with the Taliban against the Afghan government. He cautioned that these groups are a major threat to the entire region, including India, China, Russia and Pakistan.
"We are talking about regional cooperation because there are no good or bad terrorists. All are one. Peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban will ensure that Afghanistan is not a haven for such elements," he said.
Defending the US withdrawal, the minister pointed out that the US had made a peace agreement with the Taliban in good faith, but the Taliban had not kept its promises and had betrayed the whole world.
"The Taliban are making a big mistake. We all reached out to them for peace. We told them to abide by the Doha peace agreement. We called for the withdrawal of foreign troops and the handover of prisoners," he said.
The Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who is in Moscow, said in a joint press conference with his counterpart that “it's important for India and Russia to work together to ensure that much of the progress in economic, social terms are maintained. We are committed to an independent, sovereign & democratic Afghanistan”, he further said, “the situation in Afghanistan occupied a lot of our attention because it has a direct implication for regional security. We believe that the immediate need of the day is really a reduction in violence.”
The Afghan Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay told the ANI that India has been a major partner. It can play a constructive role in our peace process, together with other regional actors. “India can utilise its convening power to put more pressure on the Taliban through diplomatic channels to come to the negotiating table.”