Taliban may want India in peace deal: Afghanistan media owner

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 11 Aug 2019

Kabul, Aug 11: An Afghanistani media baron has said that he feels Taliban group will want India to play a role in the peace deal connected with the South Asian nation and not act as a spoiler in the process.

Speaking to Indian Express, Afghan-Australian Saad Mohseni, who is owner of MOBY, largest Afghan media group, which owns TOLO news agency, TV channels and radio stations, said: "Where India can play a role is to work with other influencers — Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, US — to ensure it doesn’t backfire on all of us."


"India, given its influence in the region, can still play the role of a wise participant, as a neighbour. But once genuine peace talks start, I don’t think there can be a deal without regional consensus and the Indians will be engaged. Even the Taliban might want the Indians to be part of any peace deal because they would not want India to be a spoiler," he said.

Saad said Pakistan is always right in saying everything right but doing all the wrong.


"The Pakistanis are very good at saying all the right things, doing all the wrong … It’s not in Pakistan’s interests to have a strong, united government in Kabul, even if it’s the Taliban," he told the newspaper.

In recent times, the US and the Taliban have said they are close to establishing peace.


Both U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar are now privately telling allies that they’ve reached a deal that would require most conventional U.S. forces to withdraw before the end of November 2020, shortly after the U.S. presidential election, multiple U.S., Afghan and Pakistani officials briefed on the talks tell TIME. 


A major hurdle remains, however: the Taliban continues to refuse Khalilzad’s demand that a U.S. counterterrorism force would stay as long as a terrorist threat remains, reported the magazine.


Civilian deaths in Afghanistan:


The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan this month said more than 1,500 civilians were killed and injured in the country in July.


Civilians bore the brunt of escalating violence in July, with preliminary UN findings showing that more than 1,500 civilians were killed and injured, the highest number of any month this year, and the highest number documented in a single month since May 2017. The main driver in July was a sharp rise in civilian casualties caused by Anti-Government Elements (AGEs), read the UNAMA website. 


Images: UN website 

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