Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 21st, 2017

Taliban Not Willing for Reconciliation Talks with Govt: UN

Taliban Not Willing for Reconciliation Talks with Govt: UN

WASHINGTON - The Taliban, having gained strength in the last one year with the integration of several Al Qaeda affiliates, do not seem to have any willingness to enter into negotiations with the Afghan government, says a UN report. “Despite several regional and international efforts, the Taliban continue to be reticent and currently do not demonstrate a willingness to enter into negotiations with the Government of Afghanistan,” the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Un Security Council said in its latest report on Thursday.
Compared with previous years and despite considerable losses during the fighting season in 2016, the fighting strength of the Taliban had not diminished and interlocutors expected the militants ciuld field significant numbers of fighters inside Afghanistan, it said. The UN report said many fighters from Al-Qaida-affiliated groups, who formerly operated in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, have integrated into the Taliban, leading to a marked increase in the military capabilities of the Taliban. Taliban income from the narcotics trade increased during 2016 owing to an increase in poppy growing areas in Afghanistan as well as a marked increase in the profits generated from opium production inside the country.
Illegal mining activities and systematic extortion by the Taliban continue, adding to the income of the Taliban, it said. According to the report, ISIL in Afghanistan continues to obtain regular financial support from ISIL-core in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq, and appears well equipped and funded. Despite the considerable military pressure exerted on the group by Afghan and international forces and the concentration of the majority of the group’s fighters in the east of the country, ISIL was able to conduct one high-profile attack, in Kabul city, it said. “A significant number of foreign terrorist fighters who seem to have entered the country from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area continue to operate inside Afghanistan,” the report said.
The UN report alleged the Taliban continued to benefit from safe havens in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, which enables their fighters to rest and recuperate. Several member states highlighted to the team that during 2016, some of Quetta Shura officials considered relocating to Helmand province in order to send a strong political signal that the Taliban had truly returned to Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)