Although some sources close to Taliban rejected these notions, those privy to latest developments insist that Taliban were disappointed after some members of High Peace Council claimed that Taliban would have no political role in the future setup.
The sources said that Taliban lukewarm response to efforts of High Peace Council that was causing serious delay to take the reconciliation process to fruition.
Despite world’s major powers including the US, UK and European Union that are keen to see tangible progress in the peace talks between Taliban and Afghan High Peace Council by the end of 2013, there have been no significant achievement to lure the militia to peace talks.
“Until and unless the Afghan government and its High Peace Council make important concessions including giving political role to Taliban, Afghan militia would not like the reconciliation process succeed,” the sources said.
They were of the view that some members of the Afghan High Peace Council were trying to humiliate Taliban for their past practices and were against any political role for the militia.
The sources said that the ball was in the court of Afghan government and its High Peace Council to offer concessions that could attract Afghan Taliban to come to talks.
According to the informed sources, Afghan Taliban have made it clear to all and sundry that they would not join and the Afghan-led reconciliation process unless the government offers attractive concessions including political role for Taliban in country’s future set up.
This follows a failed attempt by JUI (F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to help facilitate the reconciliation efforts up to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders that it bears fruits. Despite his visit to Doha, JUI (F) Chief could not meet the members of Islamic Emirate at Qatar office, as they were reluctant to engage any facilitator as long as Afghan government and its High Pace Council agree to give important political role to Taliban.
“We want to make it categorically clear that the honourable head of the political office of the Islamic Emirate and any other member of the office in Qatar has neither met anyone nor any such meeting had been under consideration,” said the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The JUI-F source said that Rehman had agreed to travel to Qatar and to meet the Taliban negotiators after he was authorised by the Pakistani government. Rehman had told the government he would not meet the Taliban as the JUI-F head but as a state representative. Some sources claimed that even the US and Afghan government were also on board about Fazlur Rehman -Taliban meeting.
Sources said that negotiations were also aimed at exploring ways of how Pakistan could become part of the Qatar initiative.
Taliban has so far refused to hold talks with the Afghan government, which they say was powerless and supported by foreign powers. They have recently rejected a recent call by the Afghanistan-Pakistan-UK summit in London where leaders in a joint statement asked the Taliban to begin intra-Afghan talks.
Last month, US President Barrack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai had endorsed the opening of a Taliban office in a third country to facilitate the much-needed reconciliation process.
The US efforts in the past to set up such an office in Doha could not succeed due to opposition by both Afghanistan and Pakistan. But at a recent trilateral summit in UK, Islamabad also indicated that it might support the Qatar initiative.
In a joint statement issued after the London summit, Afghan President Karzai, President Asif Zardari and British Prime Minister David Cameron supported the opening of an office in Doha for the purpose of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan High Peace Council.
Despite differences, the official said that all stakeholders now appear to be on the same page in seeking a peace deal before the US-led foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.