Gen. Atiqullah Baryalai, a former deputy defense minister and prominent member of the Northern Alliance that battled the Taliban in the 1990s, was blunter. "They are playing with words," he said. "It is just propaganda."
Baryalai said he believes the militants are probably buying time until the 2014 Western pullout, when he said they intend to make their move.
The speech delivered by the Taliban's representatives in France reiterated many of the group's long-standing policies. It said that the Taliban's "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" is the nation's "legitimate government" and insisted that all foreign forces leave the country.
It also demanded a new constitution because it said the current one was "written under the shadows of B-52 aircraft."
And it appeared to rule out Taliban participation in a presidential election scheduled for 2014, saying the poll would not be "beneficial for solving the Afghan quandary" because it will be organized under occupation.
Even the pledge to grant rights to women appeared to contain caveats.
"Women in Islam have the right to choose husbands, own property, right to inheritance and right to education and work," the speech said. "The Islamic Emirate will safeguard the rights of women such that their legitimate rights are not violated … and Islamic requirements endangered under the guise of education and work."
The government, for its part, maintains that the Taliban must agree to renounce violence, recognize the constitution, cut ties with foreign terrorists and respect human rights.
"Peace efforts are part of the process," Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said this week. "All these issues can't be resolved in one, two or three meetings. We hope that this process of meetings, consultations and dialogue, which includes all the key Afghan sides, will continue."
Special correspondent Hashmat Baktash contributed to this report.