Islamabad: A key member of the Taliban has called for an end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan. He has also called for peace talks and demanded prisoner releases and removal of sanctions on rebel leaders to quicken the process.
"All sides should stop fighting and solve all their differences through dialogue and negotiations," the Daily Times quoted Mullah Agha Jan Motasim, who until 2009, headed the Taliban`s political committee, and is still influential in some Taliban circles.
Motasim, who was the finance minister in the 1996-2001 Taliban regime, welcomed "important preliminary steps" from all sides, such as the lifting of UN sanctions on former regime members, and said that as a result, the Taliban were "inclined towards dialogue".
But he also called on the United Nations and the United States to remove the remaining Taliban names from the blacklist, and demanded the immediate release of Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay.
"We believe that such steps of the international community would help in bringing peace and stability and would become a source of persuading leaders of Islamic Emirate," he further wrote.