Afghans should sit down and talk peace: Envoy
Afghans should sit down and hold talks for bringing peace in their country, the Afghan ambassador to Turkey said on Friday.
Speaking at the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) in capital Ankara, Abdul Rahim Sayed Jan said the only thing Taliban demands is that Americans should leave Afghanistan and now the U.S. is talking with the Taliban.
Jan said they expect from the U.S. to convince Taliban to sit on the table with the Afghan government.
"Once peace comes to Afghanistan, there will be no need for foreigners to stay in Afghanistan. So the key of bringing peace is that Afghans themselves should sit down and talk peace," Jan said.
He said the Islamic ulema from all over the world have stated that the war in Afghanistan is not jihad and it is an un-Islamic war.
Jan said millions of girls and boys had received education in the country -- an impossible task under the Taliban rule which opposed modern education.
"Afghanistan will not go back to Taliban time. Because now we have millions of educated girls and boys, institutions and human rights. In this 10 years, we reached so many good things and we do not want to go back to those black days."
Amid reports that U.S. troops will pull out this year, Jan said the Afghan people have no other option but to resist terrorist groups whether international troops stay in the country or not.
The international forces in Afghanistan were reduced from 130,000 to 20,000, but no provinces or districts fell into the hands of Taliban, although the group has a strong presence throughout the country, Jan said.
"Taliban did not have political ideology, they were completely, purely a militant group," Jan said.
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"Finally, with the help of the Taliban, that time Al-Qaeda emerged, found place in Afghanistan and they designed to attack United States.
"And suddenly, the West woke up that ignoring Afghanistan will not allow other parts of the world to be in peace," Jan said.
He said Afghan people expect Kabul and Ankara to work together to bring peace to the war-ravaged country.
"We hope that Turkey will use its influence on Pakistan to help the peace process in Afghanistan," Jan said.
Jan said Iran and Russia recently established a relationship with the Taliban and he called this development "unfortunate".
However, Jan said if this move brings Taliban to the table for peace talks, Kabul will welcome them.
Jan said Turkey is part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan training the Afghan police and army.
He said Turkey is a developed Islamic country located in a very strategic place.
Jan said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned a tripartite meeting between Turkey-Pakistan-Afghanistan after the local elections in Turkey on March 31.
The ambassador said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani wants practical results for every meeting.
"So it needs more work from Turkish and Pakistani side to convince Afghanistan that these meetings will be useful to solve the problems," he added.