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Afghan negotiators defend ‘Islamic republic’ state in talks with Taliban

16 Sep 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: The Afghan government’s negotiating team urges on the preserving of the Islamic Republic in peace negotiations with Taliban. Massoum Stanakzai, the government’s chief negotiator, said Wednesday in Qatar, where the peace talks are going on with the Taliban for the first time, saying that the people of Afghanistan have suffered war and given sacrifices in the past 40 years. He said that the current governance system is internationally recognized, adding that “before the Islamic Republic, Afghanistan was at a complete isolation”. Stanakzai claimed that Afghanistan had progresses regarding Islamic education. “In addition to building and rebuilding of hundreds of mosques and empowering Islamic culture in the educational institutions, over 1,000 seminaries have been established,” said Stanakzai, who served as intelligence chief in the first round of President Ghani’s administration. He stressed that the Islamic Republic and the constitution are two connecting points among the nation. “The current constitution as the biggest source for making decisions was approved by a Loya Jirga and is unprecedented in the country’s history.” Stanakzai said that construction of the country needs several years of work and sacrifices, while it could be ruined in moments. “Peace should not mean going back to ruins era, it should mean revival, reform and empowerment in the framework of Islamic system that is recognized regionally and internationally.” Civilian casualties were 10,000 each year in the past 10 years, according to Stanakzai, who said that 2,795 civilains were killed and injured only in 2020’s first six months. He said that the Afghan government was firm in decision for peace, arguing that the freedom of 5,500 Taliban prisoners was a clear example.

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