Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai says peace is more difficult than war

The Taliban official who has led the group’s peace negotiations with the US has told that it is not in a groups favor to seize the whole country by military power.

“It will not bring peace to Afghanistan,” Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said.

However, Mr.Stanikzai stressed that the Taliban will not agree a ceasefire until foreign forces left Afghanistan.

Mr Stanikzai, who until recently was the head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar was giving his first interview to the international media while attending a meeting in Moscow with senior Afghan opposition politicians. He is considered a leading figure in the group.

He added that during 1990’s Taliban already reached a solution for an armed conflict by “coming to the table.”

“Peace is more difficult than war,” Mr Stanikzai stated, adding that he hopes that the conflict could be brought to an end.

Mr Stanikzai has met with the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, several times in recent months.

In January, they reached what Mr Khalilzad termed as a “draft framework” of an agreement.

It was based on a commitment to withdraw US forces from the country, and a guarantee by the Taliban not to allow international jihadist groups to use Afghanistan as a base in the future.

Mr Stanikzai told that White House administration wanted to “bring peace to Afghanistan.” However, the meeting in Moscow is separate from the US-Taliban peace talks.

The Taliban governed Afghanistan in 1996-2001 with an ultra-conservative and often brutal interpretation of Islamic law.