KABUL: Taliban on Monday said peace talks with the Afghan government scheduled to begin on Tuesday (tomorrow) were unlikely to take place.
According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that no practical step had yet been taken regarding the release of Taliban prisoners by the government. He said talks would not begin due to disagreement between rivals for presidency.
On the flip side, Head of United Nations Assistant Mission in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto called for inclusion of women in peace talks.
Tadamichi Yamamoto in a statement urged that Afghan women should have access to education, healthcare and work facilities and full representation in all areas of political decision-making, from parliament to the peace table which was vital for a peaceful society.
Marking the International Women Day, the UNAMA said it would continue to support all efforts toward gender equality and all opportunities for women to reclaim their rightful place in all areas of society in Afghanistan.
On March 4, the Pentagon had played down the seriousness of a recent Taliban attack in Afghanistan that casted doubt on a four-day old peace deal between the insurgent groups and the United States.
The rebels had ramped up violence against Afghan forces since the signing in Doha on Feb 29, breaking a partial ceasefire and putting a shadow over peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban, due to start on March 10.
“There were a variety of attacks over the last 24 to 48 hours. And they were all beaten back,” General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the US military, had said in a statement following the attacks.
“What is important, though, for the agreement: we´re on day four, this was small, low level attacks, out on checkpoints, etcetera,” he had told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Afghan interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi had on March 4 detailed 30 Taliban attacks over the past 24 hours in 15 provinces that left four civilians and 11 Afghan soldiers dead as well as 17 insurgents dead.