Karzai forms peace council for Taliban talks

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September 4, 2010 16:37
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Who: Hamid Karzai.

What: The formation of High Peace Council was announced by the Afghan leader to pursue talks with the Taliban. The presidential palace did not give further details of the peace body, adding it would be announced after the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan next week.

Where: The Afghan president issued the statement from his office in the presidential palace in Kabul.

When: The announcement came on Saturday morning, 4 September.

Why: U.S.-led NATO forces have already made it clear that they cannot win the war in Afghanistan militarily. “We will not bring about a more secure Afghanistan by military means alone,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement. “We have always said that a political process is needed to bring the conflict in Afghanistan to an end,” it added. Taliban have rejected any peace talks before the exit of occupation troops from the country.

How: Karzai’s plan, backed by tribal elders at the “peace jirga,” involves giving cash and job incentives to Taliban foot soldiers to lure them away from the insurgency. It also seeks reconciliation with senior leaders by offering them asylum in other Muslim countries and striking their names off a U.N. blacklist. Taliban insist that the jirga does not represent the will of the Afghan people and was aimed at securing Karzai’s future as well as his masters’ interests.

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