The Afghan government has linked holding peace talks with the Taliban outfit to observing ceasefire by the armed group, stressing that "ceasefire" is the demand of all Afghans before initiating any talks for peace in the militancy-battered country.
"The people of Afghanistan are insisting for ceasefire by the Taliban before holding any talks for peace in the country," Presidential Palace spokesman Sediq Sediqi said on Saturday.
He made the remarks amid ongoing talks between the Taliban representatives and the U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar's capital Doha where the two sides are reportedly nearing a peace deal.
Taliban spokesman for Doha's office Sohail Shahin, according to media reports, has said that the armed group would not cease battle but "reduce violence and fighting against the U.S. and Afghan forces" to pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
Dismissing the word of "reduction in violence" as "impractical," Sediqi said the ceasefire should be a precondition for intra-Afghan talks to end the war in the country.
"No talks would deliver without the involvement of the Afghan government," Sediqi said.
Meanwhile, former Afghan parliamentarian Mohiudin Mehdi believed that the Taliban consent to reduce violence could be a step towards observing ceasefire and boosting the peace talks in Afghanistan.