Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib

Ceasefire is precondition to peace talks, says NSA Hamdullah Mohib

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul today, October 29, the National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said that a ceasefire is precondition to peace talks with the Taliban. “Our findings show that the Taliban are not united,” he said.

Mohib noted that given the situation on the ground, the Taliban are looking forward to take concession while the war drags on. He pointed to a report which suggested that a prominent Taliban commander, Mullah Zakir, has joined the Islamic State – Khurasan Province.  

He asserted that the militant group need to provide clarifications regarding ties with foreign countries and intelligence agencies, particularly on their ties with Pakistan and the ISI.

He also noted that the Taliban need to clarify their relations with drug curtails and criminal networks.

“The Taliban war is not ideological, they are fighting to secure their interests,” he asserted, underling that the ongoing war in Badakhshan, Takhar, and Baghlan provinces is being fought to secure the interests of the drug smugglers.    

Mohib said the Afghan government is ready to implement its comprehensive peace plan which has been developed in seven articles. “We are working to create an international consensus for this plan,” he said.

Taking on Khalilzad’s recent Kabul visit, the NSA said the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad visited Kabul to discuss the release of two professors of the American University of Afghanistan, not peace. But he assured that the Afghan government is ready to cooperate in the release those professors.

Mohib’s remarks come a day after Khalilzad and Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the US National Security Council Lisa Curtis met with some prominent Afghan politicians, including former president Hamid Karzai, Younus Qanoni, Mohammad Mohaqiq, and Sayed Mansoor Naderi on October 27.

“Reiterating on peace as vital issue for Afghan people, we had a detailed discussion on a nationwide and permanent ceasefire,” part of a statement issued by Karzai’s office read.

The statement further noted that all participants expressed support for resumption of US-Taliban peace talks and asked Khalilzad to convey their message to US President Donald Trump.