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16.9.2020 Taliban plan ‘military takeover’ as Plan B
A member of the Taliban has told US-based CBS news the group plans a
‘military takeover’ in Afghanistan if political solution is not reached.

It said in a report that the "Intra-Afghan" talks were the direct result
of an agreement reached between the insurgent group and the Trump
administration in February. The Afghan government was not directly
involved in those negotiations, as the Taliban had refused to negotiate
with Kabul until this week.

CBS News' Sami Yousafzai spoke to a couple members of the group's
political team, representing the Taliban in the Doha talks, and a former
Taliban government minister.

"The current Afghan system is totally corrupt and incapable," began one of
the senior members of the Taliban's negotiating team, suggesting that
forming a coalition with the "sinking ship" of President Ashraf Ghani's
government would "drown the Taliban as well." "Now it's the Taliban's
turn," he said. "Hand over the Afghan regime to the Taliban for three to
five years. The Taliban will work with the international community,
especially the U.S. We will prove that as the Taliban was a hard enemy, in
the future we will be a solid and trustworthy partner."

That stark starting position in talks aimed at brokering a ceasefire and,
eventually, a renewed, legitimized role for the militant group in Afghan
politics, may seem ominous. But defiance against a government the Taliban
has dismissed as an illegitimate puppet of Washington for more than a
decade isn't surprising, and it was delivered with nuanced hints at
flexibility, it said.

"The international community shouldn't be nervous," the deputy leader of
the Taliban's negotiating team insisted to CBS News separately. Abbas
Stanikzai said that, in return for being treated as a legitimate political
entity in Afghanistan, "we will be nice this time, more responsible in
respect to international law."

If the talks do falter, the U.S. has few good options. If the Taliban
leaves the negotiating table and resume its war on Afghan forces and their
foreign backers, President Trump could be urged by his own military
commanders to halt, or even reverse his ongoing drawdown of American
forces in the country, the report noted.

Meanwhile, Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani,
has rejected such remarks by the Taliban. He dubbed it as “utterly sad and
disappointing” comment for the people of Afghanistan and the international
community who were looking for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and
an end to Taliban’s violence. “Taliban’s consistent rhetoric of a military
takeover is illusion and against the spirit of the current peace process,”
he said.

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