PESHAWAR, Pakistan – The Taliban are not talking to the Afghan government, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told GlobalPost in an email today.
He referred to a Wall Street Journal interview with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in which the president told the Journal that his government is talking to the Taliban. "We were talking to the Taliban, we were talking to the senior-most of them," Karzai said in the interview. Karzai dismissed reports saying that the Taliban don't want to talk to his administration as just "someone making a statement."
But in the email Mujahid repeated previous statements that the Taliban are not interested in talking to the Karzai-led government. "The Taliban strongly reject the president's claim. The Taliban will never enter into a negotiation with the puppets."
He warned of the likelihood of Taliban impostors. "The Islamic state believes that anybody involved in the dialogue does not represent the Taliban. It has been done in the past. Now many people are taking advantages of the scared enemy and making false promises."
There was no mention in the email of the reported talks between the US and Taliban in Qatar.
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CNN also received a similar email stating that “the Islamic Emirate has never met with the representatives of the powerless Kabul administration, and has made no decision to hold talks with the Karzai government, even in the future.”
In his email to CNN, Mujahid wrote: “The issue is ... who is powerful and has got the power to make a decision, and who hasn't, and everyone around the world knows that the one who has got the authority in opposition to the Mujahideen (the Taliban) is America.”
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Al Jazeera has a report on the Taliban who claim to be negotiating, with a Taliban commander from the Kunar district named Abdullah Weqas stating, “negotiating is part of our duty.”
Suzanna Koster and GlobalPost reporter Abdur Rauf Yousafzai contributed reporting for this story from Peshawar. Priyanka Boghani contributed reporting from New York.