Kabul, July 20 (IANS) A key member of the Talibans political office in Doha has blamed the Afghan government for delays in the peace negotiations between the two sides which are aimed at ending the decades-long war in the country.
The talks were expected to begin 10 days after the February 29 deal between the US and the Taliban, but it is dependent on the completion of a prisoner exchange by the Afghan government and the militant group.
Shahabuddin Delawar, the key member of the Taliban’s office in Doha, said on Sunday that the release of prisoners should be finalized and that the talks should be carried out with an inclusive delegation from Kabul, reports TOLO News.
“The responsibility of all bloody incidents over the last four months is on (the Afghan government) because it should have released our 5,000 by March 15. We were ready to release their 1,000 prisoners in 10 days,” he said.
Another member of the office, Noorullah Noori, accused the US of violating the peace agreement, saying the Taliban has not declared a ceasefire with the Afghan forces.
“Attacks on checkpoints and districts and public routes will continue as there is no ceasefire between us and Kabul,” Noori said.
The Presidential Palace, meanwhile, criticized the Taliban and said the group has not followed-through on its commitments for peace efforts.
“They have not released our captives. You can see the violence level by the Taliban–where it has reached.
“Terror, murder and attacks on civilians, government employees, religious scholars and hospitals continue,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.