Conflicts & War

Afghanistan accepts Taliban as social reality: Ghani

Kabul, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday acknowledged the Taliban as a political reality in Afghan society, and called on the militant group to stop fighting and win the support of the population during the current peace process.

“The politicians, the people and the government of Afghanistan accept you as a reality. We do not reject you, you are a reality of our society. Gone are the times when we did not accept you as a reality,” Ghani said in a speech addressing the Taliban.

The president told the “respected” insurgents that they need not to continue with the bloodshed in order to gain the upper hand in peace negotiations which have been taking place since September in Doha.

“You lose nothing in the ceasefire, the people and government of Afghanistan promise, we will be doing serious negotiations with you, don’t fear the ceasefire,” he said.

“We want peace with you, but you must also accept the realities of Afghan society. Neither you nor we surrender. There is no winner in war, continuing the war is an easy task, but the real courage is to work for peace,” said Ghani.

The president reminded the Taliban that, like them, several generations of Afghans have been victims of more than 40 years of successive conflicts in the country.

“We hope that the Taliban will demonstrate political will (in the Doha talks) so that we can move from symbolic issues to discussing the major issues. Some progress has been made and I congratulate everyone for that, but we need to make the most of these days,” he stressed.

Ghani added that although the Afghan people maintain a general support for peace, “if the Taliban continue on a daily basis to kill, injure and insult them, there is a fear that they will abandon that consensus on peace.

“Let’s make peace, let’s do it quickly, but in a way (…) that is lasting,” he concluded.

Negotiations between the two sides began September 12 in Qatar, and since then the Afghan government and the Taliban had been engaged in drafting procedures, on which they reached agreement this week.

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