A Bold Afghan Peace Offer, But Are The Taliban Interested? By Kathy Gannon – AP
ISLAMABAD — Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has put a peace offer on the table, and analysts say the ball is now in the Taliban's court. But so far the militants are showing no sign of being interested.
Ghani's offer calls for unconditional talks accompanied by a cease-fire, recognition of the Taliban as a political party, an office in Kabul and the release of some prisoners. Ghani said he would also try to get Taliban leaders removed from international terrorist lists, as well as provide them with passports to allow them to travel freely.
The Taliban, who have long demanded to talk directly to the United States before the Kabul government, replied with silence.
Early indications are not promising.
Over the weekend, the Taliban issued a rambling English- language statement urging Islamic clerics to boycott a gathering later this month in Indonesia, where religious leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia are to meet to see if they can offer a path to peace in Afghanistan…