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Peace Process Being Sabotaged by Outsiders: Faizi

President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi

Around 18 Taliban members who have shown a desire to negotiate with the Afghan government or join the peace process have recently been killed, President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman has told TOLOnews to illustrate the reach of those opposed to a government-Taliban peace deal.

“Over the past month, a number of Taliban who were wanting to join the peace process and had maintained relations with the Afghan government and High Peace Council were recently caught and put in prison, and about 17 or 18 of them were killed after being tortured,” said Aimal Faizi on Saturday, blaming outsiders.

“The peace process is being sabotaged and it will continue to be [sabotaged]. Some countries do not want the process to be carried out,” he added.

The High Peace Council said the deaths and arrests are a sign of the disarray of the peace process both inside and outside Afghanistan, warning that the disorder will end up harming those causing it.

“They may sabotage it, but they should be concerned that the fire that is being ignited in Afghanistan and on which they are throwing fuel will set themselves alight one day,” said leading HPC member Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar.

At least one political analyst believes that the Taliban are “pawns” in Pakistan’s political aims and are backed by a number of groups inside the Pakistani government.

“The Taliban are the pawns of Pakistan and they want Pakistan’s interests. Therefore the peace process is their pawn too,” said Jawid Kohestani, political expert.

However, a former Taliban leader accused both Kabul and Islamabad of not being honest in its peace process efforts saying there are people in both governments seeking personal interest.

“There are people within the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan that are seek personal benefits in the peace process,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, former head of Taliban’s Jaish al-Muslimeen group, on Sunday.

“The governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are not being honest towards the peace process,” he added.

Nevertheless, criticism from the Afghan government throughout the peace process has been leveled at Islamabad, even as a number of Afghan Taliban members have been released from Pakistani prisons at the HPC request.

Over the past months, Pakistan has released as many as 26 Taliban prisoners including the former justice minister of the Taliban regime Mullah Nooruddin Torabi, and also Anwarul Haq Mojahid.

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