Afghan Taliban accepts President Ghani's peace dialogue
File photo of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
The Afghan Taliban has accepted to join the peace dialogue initiated by the President Ashraf Ghani.
According to media reports, Afghanistan's Herat provincial council chairman Kamran Alizai said the talks were held with the militant group regarding the same and in return, the Taliban set pre-conditions such as securing employment on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
"The armed group (Taliban) said they will join the peace process if employed on the TAPI project. They will also ensure the project's security," said Alizai.
The group's move was welcomed by Herat governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi and assured to provide them with employment opportunities after they join the peace process.
"The door is open, the offer has been made to all the anti-government armed groups," Rahimi said.
This comes after a group of 10 insurgents also joined the peace process in support of the TAPI project.
Meanwhile, Pakistan also supported Ghani's initiative, in what was seen as the first possible breakthrough in the thawing of frosty ties between Kabul and Islamabad.
The TAPI is an under-construction pipeline which will transport natural gas starting from the Galkynysh Gas Field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
The pipeline expected to be operational by 2019.