Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taliban Key to Ending Afghan War?

EDINBURGH (Scotland), Nov 17: Ending the war in Afghanistan would include senior Taliban commanders sitting in Afghan government, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Tuesday.

David Miliband also told a meeting of Nato’s parliamentary assembly that military action must be accompanied by a political surge to restore Afghans’ faith in their corruption-scarred government.

He said the vast majority of Taliban fighters were not committed to a global jihad and could be persuaded to stop fighting. He said a settlement must include the top Taliban commanders prepared to renounce violence.

“Once reintegration gains momentum, and the insurgency is starting to fray, we will need to support President Karzai in reaching out to those commanders that can be persuaded to renounce Al Qaeda and pursue their goals peacefully within the constitutional framework,” he said.

“Blood enemies from the Soviet period and the civil war now work together in government. Former Talibs already sit in the parliament. It is essential that, when the time is right, members of the current insurgency are encouraged to follow suit.”—AP

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