The Taliban have published an open letter expressing a desire for peace talks and calling on the “American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to press their government to withdraw from Afghanistan.
The letter assailed U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy announced last August that called for military force to bring a more compliant Taliban to the negotiation table.
“If the policy of using force is continued for another one hundred years,” the letter reads, “the outcome will be the same … as you have observed over the last six months since the initiation of Trump’s new strategy.”
The letter promised a more inclusive regime, education and rights for all, including women. However, it seemed to rule out power-sharing, saying they had the right to form a government.
“Our preference is to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue,” the letter said. “America must end her occupation and must accept all our legitimate rights, including the right to form a government consistent with the beliefs of our people.”
In the letter, the Taliban railed against widespread corruption in the government and a burgeoning narcotics industry, from which officials say the insurgents make millions of dollars in taxes and tolls, charging those dealing in the drugs to move their illicit cargo to market. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, the raw material used to make heroin.
The Trump administration has sent mixed messages about its readiness to have contact with the Taliban, but it has insisted that all substantive negotiations would have to be led by the Afghan government.
Source Ariana News