From UNGA, Afghan govt asks Taliban to join in peace

The Afghan government from the United Nations General Assembly has asked the Taliban to join in peace.

Speaking from the famous green podium inside the UN building, Afghan National security advisor Hamdullah Mohib said, “To the Taliban and their foreign sponsors, HEAR THIS NOW, a message from the Afghan people: Join us in peace, or we will continue to fight…This is a fight we can win.”

Last February, President Ghani extended an unconditional offer of peace to the Taliban which Mohib said “still stands today” explaining, “the government has the ability to directly negotiate peace with our enemies.”

The talks between US and Taliban collapsed in September after several rounds of talks.

The afghan representative said called for a “ceasefire to immediately stop the bloodshed” and that Afghan govt is ready for the next step in the Afghan peace process which includes “talks.. between the Afghan government and the Taliban”.

He highlighted the success of recently concluded Afghan Presidential elections in which “around 3 million Afghans faced the threat of terrorism and risked their lives to vote in our young democracy’s 4th presidential election”.

He said, “We all voted not just for a president, but we also voted for democracy… we voted for our constitution… we voted for freedom and sovereignty” and those who voted included “men and women…the very old, some voting for perhaps the last time in their lives..some who came out despite having their fingers cut off by Taliban during previous votes.”

Interesting to note, there was no direct reference to Pakistan by Afghan NSA during his UNGA speech just like there was no mention of the country during Indian PM Narendra Modi’s speech though both the Afghan and Indian leaders strongly spoke on the issue of terrorism.

“Terrorism is an idea, as much as it is a form of violence. We must continue to work together to extinguish the ideologies behind terrorism, wherever they may exist,” Mohib said.