KABUL - The Taliban said on Thursday they would continue with their armed struggle against the government and its western backers, despite reconciliation talks with the United States.
The militant movement had been trying over the past one and a half decade to enforce an Islamic order in Afghanistan and force a withdrawal of foreigners, Taliban spokesman ZabihullahMujahid said.
In order to achieve that goal and bring peace and stability to the country, the movement had stepped up political efforts to have negotiations with the international community, a statement from Mujahid said.
"Reconciliation doesn't mean a stop to fighting or accepting the Afghan Constitution. We want to use political means while continuing our jihad and military operations," the statement added.
Mujahid urged media outlets to be careful while reporting on the issue of peace parleys and discuss with relevant Taliban sources whatever news they released to the effect. On January 3, the Taliban confirmed they had agreed to open a political office in Qatar for peace negotiations with the Afghan government and the international fraternity.
"We are ready to have a political office overseas to reach an understanding with the international community. In this regard, we have arrived at an initial understanding with Qatar," the movement said last week. President Hamid Karzai, who supports the opening of the Taliban's political bureau in Qatar, insists on a ceasefire prior to peace negotiations.
Since the process remains at an initial stage, it is too early to expect a truce, believes political analyst, Wahid Muzhda. "When the ceasefire comes under discussion, it means the talks are going forward and will be successful."