Taliban warns of ‘planned attack’ by Daesh militants against freed prisoners
The Afghan media on Wednesday voiced concern over the upcoming intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha after Qatar visas for local journalists were not approved.
Members of the public also objected to the move saying talks should not be held behind closed doors and that the people of Afghanistan have the right to be kept up-to-date on the details of negotiations.
A group of local journalists was expected to travel with the official Afghan negotiating team to Qatar this week for the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations on Sunday.
However, the government has not yet commented on the visa issue.
A member of the Access to Information Commission meanwhile said that this was a serious concern.
“The presence of journalists should be a condition for negotiations so that they bring any decisions made about the fate of the people to light,” he said.
Initially reports indicated the Afghan talks team, led by Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, would leave Kabul, along with the group of journalists, on Wednesday.
However, the negotiating team will now only leave Thursday.
The Afghan negotiating team met with President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday to discuss issues around the upcoming peace talks with the Taliban.
Stanekzai briefed Ghani following the Loya Jirga’s decision on Sunday in favor of releasing the final 400 Taliban prisoners – which had been a stumbling block in the way of kick-starting negotiations.
Stanekzai stated Tuesday they will sit around the negotiating table with the Taliban as a united team in favor of “the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” and they will consider the interests of the people.
Meanwhile, Ghani said the Loya Jirga had drawn a peace roadmap for government, and that they are “committed to the implementation of that.”
“We are committed to peace, the goal is to end the war in a fundamental way,” Ghani added.
He said the peace talks team will negotiate a suitable and fair peace deal with the Taliban as it is in the best interests of the people.