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 An Ariana Media Publication 04/18/2014
 Peace Council Seeks Immunity, Lift on Sanctions for Taliban

By Haseeb Maudoodi

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Taliban officials who join peace negotiations with the Afghan government will have their names removed from the United Nations sanctions list and will receive immunity from prosecution, the head of the High Peace Council (HPC) said Saturday.

HPC chairman Salahuddin Rabbani said in a press conference said that the agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table involve five key points apart from the much-reported prisoner release.

1. The involved countries Afghanistan, Pakistan and US should facilitate to allow immunity from prosecution for those joining the national negotiations of peace and reconciliation.

2. Afghanistan and Pakistan will work with the help of the United Nations to remove the names of Taliban who are joining to negotiations from sanctions list of the UN.

3. Afghanistan and Pakistan will hold a joint meeting of the Islamic Ulema in their respective countries or in Saudi Arabia with the aim of assessing suicide attacks and other military action of the Taliban under the viewpoint of Islamic law.

4. Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to abstain from blaming each other as the cause of the problem and government officials making speeches against each other.

5. Afghanistan and Pakistan will search for suitable ways to prevent shelling into Afghanistan by way of a two-sided mechanism to ensure cross-border attacks stop completely.

Rabbani said the peace delegation, which was in Islamabad for three days of meetings with officials last week, was not only trying to secure the release of the Talib prisoners.

"The release of the Talib prisoners was not the only aim of the delegation. Getting this support from Pakistan in peace negotiations is so important and has been promised by the Pakistan government," he said.

Meanwhile HPC spokesman Maulvi Qayamuddin Kashaf said that Pakistan's religious leaders including Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Maulvi Fazlul Rahman now support the peace process led by Afghanistan whereas previously they were calling Afghanistan's war a Jihad.

"They promised to cooperate in every way with the peace process," Kashaf said. "As well, they said they were talking with our Ulema to hold the meeting of the Ulema."

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