Pakistan’s active role in the successful talks between the United States and the Taliban to end the two decades of bloodshed in the region hasn’t impressed the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani.
Addressing a public gathering in the Nangarhar province on Tuesday, Ghani took a jibe at Taliban fighters questioning their jihad against the foreign occupiers [the US] after signing a peace deal.
You [Taliban leaders] have made peace with the foreigners so what does your jihad mean now … the killing of fellow Afghans is a crime.
He also conditioned the Taliban prisoners’ release with discontinuation of ties with Pakistan.
If the Taliban see the release of their prisoners as a pre-condition for intra-Afghan talks, we also have conditions; they should tell me when are they going to leave Pakistan.
Ashraf Ghani’s Role
Since Ghani’s government wasn’t invited to the direct talks between the US and the Taliban, he has been playing a negative role, which could potentially derail the much-needed peace process.
A day after the deal was signed, the Afghan president refused to release Taliban captives, one of the primary conditions of the agreement.
The contract mentioned a prisoners’ swap from both sides according to which Taliban will release about one thousand Afghan and US troops held captive in return for their 5000 fighters.
Taliban Resume Attacks
However, Ghani refused to abide by the agreement, saying he had nothing to do with it. The move led the Afghan Taliban to carry out overnight attacks on Afghan forces on Tuesday, which killed at least ten soldiers and four police officers.
The attacks came on the same day when the US President made a 35-minute call to Taliban leader Mullah Baradar.
In response to the attacks, the US forces carried out an airstrike against the active insurgents in the early hours of Wednesday, but casualties were not confirmed.