Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Taliban Envoy Breaks Silence to Urge Group to Reshape Itself and Consider Peace

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New York Times, 31 October 2016

The Times has spoken with the Taleban’s former chief negotiator and head of their political commission Sayed Muhammad Tayeb Agha – who is still influential among the more politically inclined insurgents – who has not only broken with nearly 15 years of public silence but also the so far seemingly unambiguous Taleban mantra of not talking with the Afghan government.

The interview builds on an earlier letter of Tayeb Agha to the new Taleban leaders in which he urges peace negotiations, that the insurgency break with foreign fighters in its ranks, call itself a movement rather than an Islamic emirate, stop pretending it is a parallel government, the new leader avoid the claim to the Islamic title of Amir ul-Momineen and that the insurgency’s leadership should leave Pakistan to avoid being used as proxies.