After years of escalating violence and rising civilian casualties in Afghanistan, perpetrated largely by the Taliban insurgency, the Afghan government has offered to negotiate a peace deal with the group. President Ashraf Ghani proposed a comprehensive and rather generous offer to the Taliban on Wednesday at the second Kabul Process, an international security conference.
The proposal offers the Taliban, which has been fighting the government since 2001, a chance to end the war at the negotiating table. In exchange for a ceasefire, the government says, those Taliban members willing to renounce violence can have a “peaceful and respectful life”. Political recognition, prisoner release, passports to Taliban members and visas to their families, as well as office space in Kabul, are also on the cards.
While the Taliban has not provided any definite response to the offer, it has shown an unsteady willingness to negotiate, while simultaneously mounting stronger offensives against the Afghan and international forces. In fact, the offer comes immediately after the Taliban called for talks with the U.S. In an open letter to the American people and Congress, it appealed for a “peaceful resolution”.
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