Monday, March 16, 2009

Taliban Leader Backs Afghan Peace Talks

Taliban Leader Backs Afghan Peace Talks   Message List  

Taliban Leader Backs Afghan Peace Talks
By & Newspapers

"It's extremely sensitive but we have been in contact both with Mullah
Omar's direct representatives and commanders from the front line," said
Qayum, Karzai's brother.
CAIRO — Taliban leader Mullah Omar has reportedly gave his blessings for peace talks with the West-backed government of President Hamid Karzai to end eight years of military conflict that tore the Asian Muslim state to shreds.

"Mullah Omar has given the green light to talks," Abdullah Anas, a key
mediator in the talks, told the Sunday Times March 15.

Anas, a former Algerian militant who fought in Afghanistan against the
Soviet occupation forces, said Omar has sent his representatives to secret talks which the Kabul regime.

He said Saudi Arabia, which has voiced readiness to help bring the two
warring parties together, is leading the mediation efforts.

Taliban was ousted by the US shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

It has ever since been engaged in protracted guerrilla warfare against
US-led foreign forces and the Kabul government.

The Karzai government confirmed the dialogue reports.

"It's extremely sensitive but we have been in contact both with Mullah
Omar's direct representatives and commanders from the front line," said
Qayum Karzai, the president's brother and one of the government negotiators.

President Karzai has been pushing for talks with Taliban and he has offered a safe passage for Mullah Omar if he accepted his calls for dialogue.

The UN, Pakistan and several Western countries have signaled support for engaging Taliban to restore stability in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama last week joined this camp, calling for talks with moderate Taliban.

"I can tell you Obama's words have created enormous optimism," said Qayum.


Anas says the secret talks have been making inroads.

"A big, big step has happened…For the first time there is a language of talk and a language of peace on both sides."

Qayum said both the government and Taliban has come to the realization that they could not achieve their goals through war only..

"There is no other way left but talks," he contends.

"Frankly, for both sides war has exhausted its options to reach their
desired results."

Anas stressed that though Taliban has achieve some success, they could not retake power again by war.

"Taliban are in a strong position now but that doesn't mean they can control the state," he added.

"They are well aware that it's a different situation to 1996 when they swept to power because Afghans saw them as bringing peace."

A recent report by the Senlis Council think-tank said Taliban has permanent presence in more than half of Afghanistan.

Qayum, the government negotiator, says Taliban has eased its opposition to talks.

"The Taliban realize that war will not achieve their ideological or
political aims.

"I find them quite realistic.\

Let There Be NO Compulsion in Religion (Holy Quran 2:256)

"Invite (all) to the way of the Lord With wisdom and Beautiful preaching And argue with them in ways that are Best and most gracious" (Holy Quran)

Peace Be Upon All Of You
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