A contact group comprising of Taliban and Afghan government delegates was established to set the terms and conditions before the formal talks begin with the participation of a wider group. It was an attempt to pave the way for setting the agenda of the talks aimed at reaching a lasting peace in the war-torn country.
The so-called intra-Afghan talks were envisioned in an agreement between the Taliban and the United States signed in February. The Trump administration wants rival Afghan sides to strike peace deal as it wants to pull out American troops from the country after nearly 20 years – its longest overseas war.
The Afghan government contact group is represented by Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Nader Nadery, Zarar Ahmad Muqbil Osmani, Fawzia Koofi, Mohammad Natiqi and Khalid Noor. The Taliban has nominated Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Abbas Stanekzai, Noorullah Noori, Shaikh Delawar and Shaikh Qasim as its representatives.
Al Jazeera has seen the fourth and current version of the draft agenda of the terms and conditions discussed in the initial meetings of the contact groups. The first 20 points were prepared in Kabul before the team arrived in Doha.
Although most points are technical, differences have emerged over Islamic laws, issues related to other sects and minority groups and the language being used in the draft.
All parties spoke to Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity because of the fragile state of the process and some were not authorised to talk to the media.
Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh):
It was emphasised that “Hanafi” school of jurisprudence followed by the majority of Afghanistan’s Sunni Muslims should serve as a guide to all aspects of the terms and conditions.
After initial pushback against the inclusion of jurisprudence into the document, which also talks about lunch breaks and technical details, both sides finally agreed to make it the overarching guideline.
With Sunni-Hanafi scholars from rival sides dominating the delegation, it gets complicated when dispute resolution is tied to one school of thought as there is no representation for others such as the Jaafria school of jurisprudence.
Afghanistan is home to minority groups of other schools of Islamic jurisprudence, including Shia Muslims.
The country of 30 million is also home to a dwindling number of Hindu and Sikh minorities, who fear being marginalised if the majority’s religious interpretation is set as the only guiding principle to resolve disputes.
The current draft calls for allowing other Islamic schools of thought to be applied to their respective followers. But issues related to non-Muslim minorities will be resolved in accordance with their religious laws – provided it is within the “laws of sharia”, ie it does not contravene with basic Islamic tenets.
Small changes such as converting “Quran and Sunnah” to “sharia” took a lot of back and forth between the two sides.
The terminology has also been sticking points as members weigh each word of the fourth draft. One side had to give up on the phrase “social justice” in favour of “Islamic justice”. While another side had to give up insistence on describing the turmoil in Afghanistan as “jihad” to “conflict” – a more agreeable term for both parties.
There have also been differences of opinion on whether “Doha agreement” can be included as part of the text in the terms and conditions.
It opened a pandora’s box because the February deal was only between the US government and the Taliban. The Afghan government was not a party to it.
The West-backed Afghan government would like to mention the loya jirga – a traditional Afghan council of tribal elders – and their agreement with the US that was signed in Kabul following the Doha deal.
Some Afghan government officials, including the first Vice President Amrullah Saleh, have made fiery statements against the Taliban, which has also hit back.
But during the Doha talks, efforts have been made to keep the talks cordial.
Some uncomfortable sentences have been exchanged where delegates said “people had to be put into their places” but by and large the tone has remained calm.
So far there have been no heated arguments or name-calling despite some emotionally charged moments in the few meetings between the contact group. Efforts have been made to break the ice and crack jokes so hawks on either side do not take control of the meetings.
Afghanistan’s international partners do not believe that this is the time for them to help move things forward.
“They seem to be inching forward,” said one diplomat.
“The window will not be closed from our side, we will continue to find creative ways of engagement,” an Afghan government delegate told Al Jazeera, insisting that there is real hope of resuming the talks and moving towards a meaningful dialogue.
Meanwhile, the Taliban says it is committed to the peace agreement and is making progress. The group has been fighting the Afghan forces since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.
Spike in violence:
While the talks continue in Doha, Afghan security officials say dozens of government soldiers have been killed across Afghanistan within the past 48 hours.
The Interior Ministry accused the Taliban of carrying out attacks in 24 provinces, including Uruzgan, Kandahar, Wardak, Takhar and Baghlan.
But Taliban leaders have told Al Jazeera that these attacks have been against the newly set up security posts and accused the Afghan government of trying to expand its territory by sending additional troops.
Criticism within US:
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad faced a tough grilling at his testimony before a house representative hearing on Tuesday.
Congressman Tom Malinowski asked the US special envoy: “We’re all for peace and I understand people want to leave but I think what you’re selling us is not peace. It is a fairy tale to make us feel better about leaving Afghanistan.”
Khalilzad insisted it was the best way forward given the constraints. “Our withdrawal is conditional and will be based on actions not just words from the Taliban,” he reiterated at the hearing – a point he had made in an interview with Al Jazeera.
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hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate. Dr. Zelenko said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours after treatment. Do you know that the ancient Egypt were civilized by architects from the (500,000 - 4000 BC) Nsukka Civiliation? Now, Dr. Zelenko provides updates on the treatment after he successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients in New York. In an exclusive interview with former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study, which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and four hospitalizations.
AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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The major problem towards deciphering the original plac…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underlying truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to f…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal (The Nag Hammadi, 219)
Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Geographica…
by Onyeji Nnaji Eha-Amufu
road newly constructed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state in 2019 Apart from the strategic location of the
Federal College of Education, one central reason remarkable about Eha-Amufu is
her central position and her boundary situation. Eha-Amufu stands at the centre
of many communities; as a result she has served as the gateway to different
communities. She is bounded to Nkalaha, Agala, Ikem, Umuero and other
communities, including Obeagu (pronounced Ubegu). Aside from that, Eha-Amufu embodies
the route that traces the way to the northern part of Nigeria for travellers
travelling from Ebonyi axis. Eha-Amufu also forms the remarkable boundary
community between Enugu State and Ebonyi State. This situation makes Eha-Amufu
very strategic in the discussion of the road and rivers across Ebonyi and
In the era when transportation on rail was
the order of the day, the most popular then ‘Express Train and later Diesel
Train’ and also the ‘local goods train’…