Ruling out negotiations: ‘Taliban talks futile’

Published: October 2, 2011
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President Karzai, aides decide to put pressure on Pakistan.

President Karzai, aides decide to put pressure on Pakistan.

With no headway being made, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his top aides have hinted that they may abandon efforts at peace talks with the Taliban after concluding that negotiating with the militant leadership was futile.

Instead, Karzai has said, negotiations should actually be held with Pakistan – an apparent dig at Islamabad, which is regularly accused of harbouring the Taliban’s senior leadership.

The comments come on the heels of fresh allegations that the assassination of Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul was planned in Pakistan. Rabbani was killed in a bombing by a purported Taliban emissary who had come to visit the former Afghanistan president last month.

The frustration with stalled talks and the escalating violence come months before a key conference is to be held in Bonn, Germany – where it is expected that the Afghan end game will be charted. There had been reports that the Taliban leadership would be involved, in some manner, about the future of the war-torn nation.

“The peace process which we began is dead,” Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Karzai’s national security adviser, said in an interview on Saturday. “It’s a joke,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Karzai and his aides have decided to shift their efforts on putting pressure on Pakistan, which has allegedly provided aid and sanctuary to Afghan insurgents.

“Their messengers are coming and killing … So with whom should we make peace?” Karzai said in the recorded address to the country’s senior religious leaders.

“I cannot find Mullah Muhammad Omar,” Karzai said, referring to the Taliban supreme leader. “Where is he? I cannot find the Taliban council. Where is it? “I don’t have any other answer except to say that the other side for this negotiation is Pakistan.”

Afghan officials have also unilaterally cancelled plans to host a trilateral meeting on Oct 8 with Pakistan and the United States. Instead, a special Afghan delegation will present Pakistani leaders with evidence about the killing of Rabbani, WSJ reported.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Feroz
    Oct 2, 2011 - 12:09PM

    Karzai is beginning to show nimble footwork and is quite sure that he will be able to go to Bonn with a clear picture of Pakistani intentions. Pakistan is riding a Tiger without knowing how to alight or get eaten. A bagful of lies has not helped the country improve its image in the comity of nations. Lying to the people is fine but the global appetite after years of deceit is very constrained.

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  • Bytes
    Oct 2, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Mr Karzai where on earth are you when Afghani terrorists come and kill Pakistanis? Your country has been a hub of exporting Pashto-speaking/Naswar-consuming suicide bombers, Ak-47 & opium culture and rigid Pashtunization of Pakistan for a long time. Why not act against them?

    Pakistanis should get united and work against Pashtunisation and Talibanisation of the country

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  • R S JOHAR
    Oct 2, 2011 - 3:04PM

    Afghanistan is in a hopeless situation and Pakistan is soley responsible for the same. There would be no peace in the region if Taleban/Haqqanis come to power in Afghanistan.

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  • TightChuddi
    Oct 2, 2011 - 3:40PM

    The only way out of this quagmire is to make a Afghanistan a protectorate of Pakistan…

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  • Faction
    Oct 2, 2011 - 5:46PM

    It seems both governments are pointing fingers, saying the problem is on the other side of the border. So here’s a solution: NATO forces advance from the west, Pakistani forces advance from the east, kill or capture all the extremists in your path and meet at the border. This is America’s standing offer to Pakistan. The only reason NOT to agree to this is that you don’t really want to stop the militants. So what say you, Pakistan?

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  • Analyst
    Oct 2, 2011 - 6:00PM

    @TightChudddi,
    It would be better if Pakistan was made a protectorate of Afganistan. That way Pakistan would no longer require strategic depth.

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  • ali
    Oct 2, 2011 - 6:10PM

    Agent Karzai has realized that he has no options. Taliban already control 60-70% of Afghanistan. So he is using an exit since he know that once Americans leave he will be hanged like Saddam.Recommend

  • Oct 2, 2011 - 7:20PM

    US along with their cronies will try level best to pitch Taliban against Pakistan since it is US hawk policy.

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