"It is almost two years that the U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad initiated direct talks with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan and also conclude America's longest war in its history but the outcome has yet to be announced," Abdul Bashir, 55, told media on Monday.
Bashir made the pessimism remarks after Khalilzad's meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah here in Kabul on Sunday.
The Khalilzad-led delegation held meeting with Taliban representatives in Qatar's capital Doha on Jan. 20 from where Khalilzad went to Brussels and Islamabad. After the meeting Pakistani officials visited Kabul and briefed Afghan leaders about his shuttle diplomacy on Sunday.
Khalilzad's mission for reconciliation in Afghanistan and his meeting with Afghan leaders have been widely covered by Afghan media. The Daily Outlook Afghanistan published an article Monday titled "No significant progress made in talks with Taliban." The report said that Khalilzad was waiting for "Taliban's clear response" on a practical mechanism for ceasefire.
According to the English newspaper, Khalilzad stated that the Taliban should accept ceasefire or lasting reduction in violence that would be acceptable to Afghan people and the U.S. government.
The Taliban outfit, which is demanding the pullout of the U.S.-led coalition forces as a precondition for inking peace deal, has reportedly wanted to reduce violence for 10 days in Afghanistan. However, the terminology of "reducing violence" has been termed as "meaningless" by the Afghan government and its people.
The Afghan government stated that observing ceasefire by the Taliban should be a precondition for direct talks with the armed outfit. However, the Taliban outfit has rejected it, saying no talks with Kabul administration in the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad, an Afghan-born U.S. diplomat, initiated direct talks with the Taliban in October 2018 but the marathon talks, according to Afghans, have yet to make tangible breakthrough.
"Not only me but all Afghans including ordinary people and those at the helm of affairs are eagerly waiting to see a breakthrough in the peace talks, but unfortunately the boring talks like the protracted war have almost killed the hope for returning peace in Afghanistan," another Afghan Mohammad Daud, 47, told media.
"I am hopeful for returning peace in Afghanistan but afraid that the ongoing peace process may take more time than expected to reach its logic conclusion," Daud further said.
The Daily Mandegar newspaper reported in an article on Monday that reconciliation with the Taliban group required a national consensus.
 
 

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