Conflicts & War

Kabul tables power-sharing deal as Taliban continue sweeping advance

(Update 2: updates with capture of 2 more provincial capitals)

Kabul, Aug 12 (EFE).- The Afghan government has tabled a power-sharing offer to the Taliban as part of the Doha peace talks in exchange for an immediate cessation of hostilities as the insurgents continue to sweep across the country.Taliban fighters on Thursday captured the capitals of three provinces: Ghazni (southeast), Herat (west) and Badghis (northwest).With the seizures of the cities of Ghazni, Herat and Qala-i-Naw, the insurgents have taken 12 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals amid the final phase of the withdrawal of United States-led foreign troops.1TV television said the government’s chairman for national reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, had presented the power-sharing offer in Doha, where he had taken part in international meetings over the last two days.There were no further details of the plan but Najia Anwari, spokeswoman for the Afghan government’s negotiation team, told Efe that it was a routine offer within the wider framework of the Doha peace talks with the Taliban. “It is not something fully new to suggest 50/50 power sharing. The aim is to discuss this in the peace talks so we can reach a political agreement to get rid of the destructive war,” she said.But the Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Naeem Wardak, dismissed the news and said there was no such offer.Afghan authorities on Thursday detained the governor of Ghazni province, Dawood Laghmani, and several senior officials for allegedly making a deal with the militants in exchange for safe passage.Mirwais Stanekzai, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said in a statement that the governor and his associates had been escorted from Ghazni to neighboring Maidan Wardak, but provided no further details.Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of the provincial council, earlier said the officials were on their way to Kabul.There is currently fighting in nine of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, where in the last 24 hours 217 Taliban fighters were killed and 108 wounded, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.This rapid advance of the Taliban coincides with the beginning of the final phase of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan after two decades of war.EFE


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