Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 05, 2007

Afghan president offers government positions to Taliban in new peace proposal

When Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced on September 29 that he was willing to give militants government positions in exchange for peace, some Taliban leaders refused. However, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reported that some leaders are not averse to the peace talks after all.

Karzai spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said: “The information we have received from tribal elders indicates that different groups operating inside Afghanistan under the Taliban name are discussing this issue seriously. In this case, we don't expect huge developments in the very near future, but we hope that those who want peace and stability in Afghanistan will come step by step to join the ongoing peaceful process."

Karzai pledged to hold talks under two conditions: he will only negotiate with Afghan, not foreign, Taliban fighters, and will not meet with militants associated with al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

“We are ready to negotiate to bring peace [to] this country,” Karzai said. “Continuation of the war, explosions, and suicide attacks should be stopped in any way possible. There were some contacts with [Taliban] in the past. But there is no specific, clear-cut line of communication – I mean, there is no official place for communication with the Taliban. I wish there were such a place.”

Tim Foxley, a researcher at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said that, in theory, talking to “moderate” Taliban leaders would weaken the insurgency, but admits the difficulty in finding these kinds of figures.

For the full article, click here.

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