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Taliban rejects Afghan government’s peace offer

 Kabul, April 25: The Taliban on Wednesday announced the start of the new spring offensive, rejecting a proposal for dialogue from the Afghan government, describing it as an attempt to “cheat and conspire”. The militant group said in a statement that the fresh offensive “was partly a response to US President Donald Trump’s new strategy announced in August that paved the way for the deployment of thousands of more foreign troops in Afghanistan”, Khaama Press reported. The Taliban said that “‘Operation Al-Khandaq’ will kick off across the country from Wednesday under which they will continue attacks on the Afghan and foreign forces, with “American invaders and their intelligence agents” as the primary target. It also warned Afghans to stay away from the compounds of the foreign, Afghan forces as well as the convoys. The Taliban also slammed the government initiative launched on February 28 in which President Ashraf Ghani offered them peace talks “without preconditions”, along with political recognition, issuing passports, relocation of their families and a release of prisoners. 

It was the most ambitious proposal so far from the government to the Taliban. The militant group called the Afghan government’s efforts “nothing but a conspiracy orchestrated by the foreign occupiers for enervating, crushing and eventually pacifying the ongoing legitimate Afghan resistance”. The militant organisation, which made an offer for dialogue to the US government in January, accused Washington of having “no serious or sincere intentions of bringing the war to an end”. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita