Second Vice President Meets Chargé D’affaires of US Embassy

8 Subh Kabul: Ross Wilson, Chargé D’affaires of the US Embassy in Kabul, met with Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Second Vice President, on Tuesday, October 27.

According to the office of the Second Vice President, Danish said that with the escalation of violence following the signing of the Peace Agreement between the United States and the Taliban, and the Taliban making excuses in the negotiations leading to the stagnation of direct talks, pessimism about the peace process is growing.

During their meeting, the Second Vice President and Ross Wilson discussed the peace process and the escalation of violence after the US-Taliban Peace Agreement was signed. Danish said that the general perception among the people and at the leadership level of the government is that many provisions of the Doha Agreement had been violated by the Taliban and that the group had not fulfilled any of its obligations. He cited an increase in violence instead of a reduction as evidence of the Taliban violating the Peace Agreement.

The Vice President told the Chargé D’affaires of the US Embassy that the Taliban had pledged and the US had promised that, after the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, violence would be reduced and attacks on provincial centers and districts would be stopped. Danish stated that violence has instead increased in recent days and that terrorist attacks were continuing in more than 20 provinces.

Mohammad Sarwar Danish also said that one of the provisions of the Peace Agreement was the cessation of cooperation between the Taliban and terrorist groups, especially al-Qaeda. The killing of the group’s second-in-command in Ghazni a few days ago proved that all terrorist groups were present wherever they had been, which was a clear violation of the Doha Agreement.

The Afghan National Security Forces announced this week that Abu Mohsen al-Masri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, was killed in Ghazni and a colleague of his, a member of the Taliban, was arrested.

The Second Vice President told the Chargé D’affaires that although the “deadly and suicide attacks on medical, educational and religious centers,” were purportedly carried out in the name of ISIS, those arrested admitted that they had been appointed by the Taliban and the Haqqani network for terrorist and suicide attacks. The Vice President said that the “repeated and blatant violation” of the provisions of the Qatar Agreement and non-compliance by the Taliban was disappointing to the people, and would harm the peace process.

Sarwar Danish said that the recent attacks were religiously motivated, aiming at the repression of the Hazara and Shi’ite people. Danish added that these people have full faith in educational and civic movements and have not had any “extremist and prejudiced” movements so far. The Kowsar Danish Educational Center was targeted by a suicide bomber on Saturday, October 24, killing 24 people and wounding more than 50 others.

Sarwar Danish expressed concern that if the people became disillusioned with the peace process and the achievement of lasting peace, due to the continued targeted killing of people, other types of extremist movements may spread.

Ross Wilson, also said that the official view of the US government is that the issue of Afghanistan cannot be resolved through war and violence and should be resolved through direct dialogue between Afghans, and that it would spare no effort in this regard.

The Chargé D’affaires also said that some countries have suggested setting up an international contact group to support the Afghan peace process to advise both sides in the negotiation process and help bring the talks to fruition.