KABUL: Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar can run for president in the elections next year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday.
In the interview at the Kabul presidential palace, Karzai said Mullah Omar could become a presidential candidate, giving the Afghans the opportunity to “vote for or against him.”
“The Afghan constitution is valid for all Afghans and the Taliban should also benefit from it,” Karzai said in the interview.
Mullah Muhammad Omar is an Afghan Taliban supreme commander. Reclusive Omar had a $10 million bounty on his head from the US and is a talismanic figure for insurgents in the 10-year war against foreign and Afghan troops.
Karzai had visited Qatar on Sunday to discuss the issue. The Afghan government recently allowed the Taliban to open an office in Qatar on the condition that the outfit breaks association with al Qaeda and abandoning terrorism.
The Afghan president further added that the real problem in the fight against terrorism lies in Pakistan and had not been addressed as yet.
Talking about the polls in Afghanistan, Karzai said that 2014 represents a turning point for Afghanistan — a year in which the West will pull its combat troops from Afghanistan.
The report added that when Karzai’s term comes to an end, he will not be able to compete in the elections, according to the constitution. It added that chances of a peace agreement with the Taliban over the withdrawal of the Western troops are now low.