Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai (L), Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari (C) and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad join hands after a news conference in Islamabad February 17, 2012. Ahmadinejad, accused by the West of pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, said in Pakistan on Friday foreign nations were determined to dominate the region and this should not be allowed. (REUTERS/Mian Khursheed)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his government talks with the Taliban every day.
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Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said his government talks to the Taliban every day through intermediaries, according to an interview by Australia’s SBS television for broadcast on Tuesday.
Afghan and U.S. officials are seeking negotiations with the Taliban as a way of ensuring peace after foreign combat troops leave in 2014, though the talks lay in a very fragile state and the Islamist group recently rejected they existed at all.
“We talk to the Taliban every day. We were talking to them just a few days ago somewhere around this region,” Karzai said in an interview taped a week ago in Kabul with SBS, adding his contact with the group’s one-eyed leader Mullah Omar was through indirect means.
“(But) not personally,” Karzai said when asked if he had spoken with Omar. “I mean not directly, person to person. But through intermediaries, yes.” Karzai and many Western analysts say the reclusive leader is based in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
Karzai also stressed that peace talks with the Taliban, who were originally backed by Islamabad, are key to regional stability and bringing peace as well to Pakistan, a player seen as crucial to efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.
“It’s no longer Afghanistan that’s the subject of conversation, or the issue. It’s Pakistan as well. It’s peace in Pakistan as well. It’s stability in Pakistan as well,” he said.
In 2001 we invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban thugs from power. Now Karzai and the Obama Administration are holding peace talks and having discussions every day. Can anyone make sense of this?