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Afghan government negotiators and the Taliban have agreed to have Islamic law and teachings guide them in peace talks, according to a document obtained on Thursday.
The document details a 21-point list of rules and procedures for the negotiations and sheds light on what the talks, which are taking place behind closed doors, actually look like.
The Taliban were adamant that it be a blueprint, but government negotiators were resistant as Kabul representatives were not party to the US-Taliban accord. That deal set out the guidelines for the eventual withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, ending America's longest military engagement.
Despite resistance by Afghan government negotiators, the U.S.-Taliban deal made it into the introduction part of the 21-point document on the rules and procedures for the Doha talks, after stating that Islamic law would be the foundation for the negotiations.
The negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are likely to be protracted and their outcome is far from certain, but Torek Farhadi, a former Afghan government adviser and political analyst, says that "everyone with reason is hoping for a power-sharing agreement."
The 21-point list in Pashto and Dari - Afghanistan's two official languages - warns warring sides against leaking documents or speaking to the media during the negotiations. It also calls for the negotiations to be conducted with honesty, sincerity and in good atmosphere.
It further urges mutual respect and decency to avoid mistrust.
Every meeting between the two sides in the talks will start and end with prayers, the document says, and when the two sides disagree, separate teams will be formed to find alternative solutions, including situations when religious interpretations are disputed. (PTI)