Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), who is heading the government’s negotiating team, made the remark in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday as he finished a three-day visit to the country.
He said that after several small-group meetings in the Qatari capital, Doha, the issue of the Hanafi school of thought had been resolved “to a large extent.”
Both sides have provisionally agreed “to recognize the principal issue of Hanafi’s role without any discrimination to Shia communities or minorities, so… the compromise is around that,” Abdullah said.
The Taliban had insisted on strict adherence to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but the Afghan government’s negotiating team worried that could be used to discriminate against the Shia community and other religious minorities.
Among other obstacles in the negotiations is the extent to which the Taliban recognize the legitimacy of the Kabul government under a future deal.
Abdullah said the two sides appeared to have made progress on the issue, without providing details. He said that after a slow start, the negotiating teams were now “getting along quite well and this latest impasse… hopefully we will overcome it soon.”