Taliban’s form of government the only true form of freedom – Afghan PM

The Afghan prime minister, Ahmad Zia Massoud, has said the Taliban’s form of rule is the only true form of freedom.

He made the comments amid a growing crisis between the Taliban and the national unity government over the insurgents’ refusal to participate in a unity deal meant to set them free from a foreign offensive.

“They [the Taliban] have freed you from fear and tension,” Massoud said. “All other Islamic countries have systems of rule like that of [the] shah, they have soldiers and army and also over there children go to school and get educated.”

Neither the Afghan government nor the Taliban made an effort to discuss terms for the ceasefire or a ceasefire in face-to-face negotiations last year that ended in failure, Massoud said.

“We all knew that the government side and the Taliban side don’t have any formula for talks, so this idea never materialised,” Massoud told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One programme on Saturday.

The summit scheduled for this week in the United Arab Emirates failed to win the leaders of the Afghan government and the Taliban who had previously vowed to come together to discuss peace a deal to end the long war, he said.

“The only situation that was discussed was a truce,” he said. “For me the only solution was a truce. We never thought that we were going to have an overall peace in Afghanistan.”

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