News - April 20, 2021

Turkey conference on Afghanistan on April 24 unlikely

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Turkey conference on Afghanistan peace is mostly unlikely to be held on April 24 as the Taliban have refused to participate and no preparations have so far made for the event.

Some reports earlier said the UN-led conference on Afghan peace in Turkey would take place on April 16. However, organizers of the conference including Turkey, Qatar and the UN in a joint statement later said that a high level conference involving Afghan politicians and Taliban would start from April 24 and continue until May 4.

FeraidonKhwazon, spokesman for High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) on Saturday said that the Turkey conference was set to start on April 24 and the council was fully ready to participate in it.

About Taliban’s participation in the event, he said, “We hope others would also take this opportunity for peace.”

Fact checking:

A week back, Talbian said they would not participate in any conference on Afghan peace until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan after the US and NATO said that they would start troop withdrawal from Afghanistan from May 1 and complete the process until September 11.

Based on the US-Taliban agreement signed in February 2020, all US and foreign forces should leave Afghanistan by May 1.

The Taliban termed the delay in US troops’ withdrawal as a violation of the agreement. GulbuddinHekmatyar, head of Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan, also said that delay in withdrawal of foreign forces from the country was a setback to the Doha agreement.

Taliban’s refusal to attend Turkey summit and delay in US forces withdrawal have complicated the holding of the upcoming conference in Istanbul.

A day earlier, Pajhwok Afghan News talked with Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Naeem who in response to the group’s participation in Turkey conference said, “There is nothing new on this regard so far.”

A US Embassy spokesperson  in Kabul, told Pajhwok Afghan News,:“We are waiting for the Taliban’s decision on Istanbul conference, we and other engaged parties ask Afghan parties to arrive at negotiating table as soon as possible.”

The official said that Istanbul conference would give chance to the Taliban and Afghan government to accelerate their efforts for a peaceful settlement and advance the peace process.

Hafiz Mansoor, a government’s negotiating team member in Doha, during an interview with BBC expressed concern that the conference in Turkey was a few days away but members of the government’s negotiating team were yet to be facilitated with technical services such as visa, Covid-19 test and other travel issues.

Outcome: The Turkey conference on Afghan peace was expected on April 24, but Taliban said that they would not participate in conferences on Afghanistan until all foreign forces leave the country; US also said that it was waiting for the Taliban’s decision. Besides that, no travel services have so far facilitated for the government’s negotiating team.

Verdict: Turkey conference on Afghan peace on April 24 is mostly impossible.

Verdict: The claim that Shilajit can weaken the possibility of Covid-19 infection and restores the patient’s damaged health by the virus, has not been proven.

Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat

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