Afghan Taliban say they want to solve war through ‘peaceful dialogue’

Kabul, Feb 14: The Taliban on Wednesday said they want to end Afghanistan’s war through dialogue but warned that their willingness to find peace did not mean they were exhausted and that their armed campaign would be sustained no matter how powerful the US opposition.
A more aggressive US strategy in Afghanistan including a surge in air strikes introduced by US President Donald Trump in August has pushed the Taliban back from several district centres and two provincial capitals.
But the militants control large parts of the countryside and have responded to the more aggressive US strategy with two attacks in Kabul in the past few weeks, killing nearly 150 people.
The attacks have toughened both the US and Afghan government stand on trying to initiate talks to end nearly 17 years of war that neither side seems capable of winning. The Taliban offer of dialogue came in a statement addressed to the American people. “Our preference is to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue,” the Taliban said.
In their statement, the Taliban did not mention a January 27 raid on a top Kabul hotel, in which more than 30 people were killed, nor a bomb attack on a crowded street a week later that killed more than 100. They claimed both attacks. (Agencies)