After nearly 15 years of public silence, Sayed Muhammad Tayeb Agha, “issued” a letter regarding peace talks to the insurgency’s supreme leader. The letter has been obtained by the New York Times and the Afghan news media. The former chief negotiator for the Taliban has the hopes that the insurgency will attempt to push itself into becoming a politically independent Afghan movement, thus overcoming the influence of Pakistani officials. Within the letter, Agha included eight recommendations to reform the insurgent group into a politically independent movement that would fit nicely within the Afghan government system. The most important recommendation listed within his letter was his request for the Taliban insurgency’s leadership to be able to leave Pakistan, where they have been operating since 2001.

According to Mr. Agha, the most ideal time for peace talks was six years ago; however, now progress in the peace talks can be made regardless of the fact that the Taliban said they would refuse to negotiate with the Afghan government while foreign troops are in Afghanistan. Some officials claim that Taliban representatives have been contacted to restart the peace talks. Others have the concern that the Taliban will use more military offensives while also attempting to pull one over on the Afghan government as the Taliban may not have the right intentions in the peace talks.

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