The Afghan government impression of deadlock in talks with Taliban has been proved outrightly wrong as officials say the Afghan intelligence chief speaks by telephone with militant leaders nearly every day about the country’s constitution and political future.
In addition, Afghanistan’s national security adviser has conversations with the Taliban every other month, officials familiar with the efforts said.
The US based News Agency has seen documents allegedly describing the conversations between the Afghan officials and the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the Gulf state of Qatar, where they maintain an office.
While Afghan officials said neither side was ready to agree to public peace talks, the documents allegedly revealed details of the issues discussed, including the Taliban’s apparent willingness to accept Afghanistan’s constitution and future elections.
A senior Afghan security official, who had taken notes on the details of talks, rifled through a black leather-bound book until he came to a list he called “Taliban talking points”.
The Afghan security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media, claimed the Taliban wanted certain amendments to the constitution although not immediately.
They also envisioned an Islamic system of governance in Afghanistan, he said.
Afghanistan’s Intelligence agency had no comment about the contacts with the Taliban.
Officials familiar with the conversations said intelligence chief Masoum Stanikzai has near daily telephone conversations with Taliban leader Abbas Stanikzai, who is not related to him.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to reporters.