Taliban (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )
Taliban has been claiming that it is committed to peace even when violence is on the rise in the country
The Taliban said on Sunday that they remained committed to peace talks but also insisted that a 'genuine Islamic system' in Afghanistan was the only way to end war and ensure rights including those of women.
There is a surge of violence across Afghanistan since May when US military began its final withdrawal. The talks between militants and Afghan government have been deadlocked for months. There are also fears that if Taliban returns to power they will reimpose their harsh rule based on extreme interpretation of Islam. Under this, girls were banned from school and women accused of crimes like adultery were stoned to death in stadiums.
Taliban has been claiming that it is committed to peace even when violence is on the rise in the country.
"Our very participation in the negotiations... indicates openly that we believe in resolving issues through (mutual) understanding," said Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Sunday
He said that only way to end conflict in Afghanistan was the establishment of Islamic system after departure of all foreign forces.
"A genuine Islamic system is the best mean for solution of all issues of the Afghans," Baradar said.
His statement acknowledged the fears in Afghanistan and abroad about the kind of system that would emerge -- and its impact on women -- saying that fell "within the ambit of the intra-Afghan negotiations".
Baradar also assured that the rights of all Afghans including women would be accommodated in that system, according to "the glorious religion of Islam" and Afghan traditions.
However, there are strong fears that Taliban's interpretation of rights will be antagonistic to changes that have taken place since 2001.
In May, a US intelligence report said the gains made over the past two decades on women's rights would be rolled back if the militants returned to power.
As the US military presses ahead to meet the September 11 deadline to complete the troop withdrawal, the Taliban have fought daily battles with government forces and claim to have captured 40 districts.
The growing fear and uncertainty about the future have forced many Afghans to try and leave, including thousands of men and women who fear reprisals because they worked with foreign forces.
Baradar called on Afghan youths to not leave the country, and also stressed that the Taliban would ensure that minorities, humanitarian organisations and diplomats had nothing to fear.
The recent losses faced by government troops have forced President Ashraf Ghani to change his defence and interior ministers.
On Saturday, he announced the changes and called on the Taliban to make a choice between peace and enmity with the government.
"If they choose enmity then the people will respond to them decisively," he said late on Saturday in a statement issued by the palace.
(With inputs from agencies)