Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Taliban open to peace talks

Perhaps one of the main terms of the peace talks is that foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan although no doubt aid workers could remain. NATO and the US would never countenance that. However, some so-called reformed Taliban are already part of the Karzai government and of course "reformed" war lords.
This is from this site.

Taliban say they are not against peace talks

MIL-AFGHANISTAN-TALKS
Taliban say they are not against peace talks

KABUL, Sept 10 (KUNA) -- Taliban militants in Afghanistan on Monday said they were not averse to talks with the Afghan government but they would decide any such proposal in light of the Islamic principles.

Speaking to KUNA over the telephone, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said that the Afghan government was helpless to invite the Taliban or other dissident groups for talks because it was being controlled by foreigners.

Regarding Karzai's speech to a ceremony on Sunday and his readiness for talks with Taliban and Hezbi Islami of former premier Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Taliban spokesman downplayed the statement and said it had only the face value.

He said the Afghan government had never directly invited them for talks because it did not have the power to do so. He said Taliban were not against negotiations. However, they would judge the circumstances and intentions behind any such offer from the government.

In recent months, calls from inside the country as well as from abroad are being made for talks with the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to bring peace to the insurgency-wracked Afghanistan.

Last month, participants of the 650-member joint Jirga (grand meeting) of elders from Afghanistan and Pakistan have also urged the need for direct negotiations with the Taliban and Hekmatyar to bring peace to the war-ravaged country.

Taliban led by their chief Mullah Muhammad Omar and Hezbi Islami of former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are fighting a guerilla war against the Afghan and foreign troops in this country. The two groups are opposing the presence of foreign troops on their soil and want implementation of Islamic system in Afghanistan.(end) gk.bz.

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