Legal, Religious Efforts Remain Stumbling Blocks at Intra-Afghan Talks

Taliban wants US deal to serve as foundation for peace talks

While 20 of the 23 articles surrounding the intra-Afghan peace talks appear to have been agreed to, at least three, and potentially four issues of contention appear unresolved. These issues could be key, and include the legal and religious foundation on which the talks are to be based.

The Taliban is pushing for a very specific religious system to interpret legal questions at the talks, and is also arguing that the February peace deal with the United States should serve as a foundation for the peace talks.

Both sides are clearly angling for legal structures that would benefit them, and this is likely to be the hardest matter to sort out. One of the big issues of this argument is what they’re actually going to end up calling the war of the last 19 years.

While the name seems a minor matter, the Taliban is arguing it should be called a jihad (religious war), and that by extension, discussions should be covered under Hanafi school jurisprudence. Hanafi doctrine would cover the handling of a jihad.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of