After Taliban, Hizb-e-Islami initiates dialogue with US

After Taliban, Hizb-e-Islami initiates dialogue with US

Peshawar : Pakistan | Apr 05, 2012 at 5:22 PM PDT
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For long, the United States has been trying to initiate meaningful dialogue with militants based in Afghanistan to bring peace and stability in the country. Dr. Ghairat Baheer, who is Hizb-e-Islami’s Afghanistan political committee head, said on Thursday that a delegation of his outfit would shortly be meeting US officials in Kabul to define a road map for a better future of the violence-wracked Afghanistan. He was speaking to media persons at the 44th founding anniversary of his organisation being celebrated in Peshawar.

Ghairat Baheer declined to comment on the questions of what was discussed with US officials in the two rounds of talks that had already been held. Baheer said his organisation believed in open dialogue with the US and whatever they do would be in the best interest of Afghanistan and its people. He also said his organization did not believe in secret talks as secret talks are done by those who are out to protect their vested interests under the garb of bringing peace and stability in the country.

Earlier, the US also initiated dialogue with Taliban to discuss the post-withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from Afghanistan. A political office was also set up in Qatar, where Taliban were supposed to have dialogue with US officials and strike a final deal on peace in Afghanistan. The US wanted them to lay down arms and also separate themselves from the terrorist outfit al-Qaeda. Taliban leaders expressed their willingness to lay down arms but they remained reluctant to dissociate themselves from al-Qaeda. The United Stated offered them a significant role in the politics of Afghanistan after withdrawal of the US-led coalition forces. The US plans to withdraw its troops from the country by the end of 2014.

Two weeks back, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was still ready to initiate dialogue with Taliban if they renounced violence and their links with al-Qaeda. However, Taliban leaders have yet not responded to the fresh offer of dialogue. Taliban got offended after NATO troops burned copies of Holy Quran at one of their basis in Afghanistan and US officials took no action against the accused. Taliban leaders were further shocked when one of the US troops killed around 17 people – mostly women and children – in southern Afghanistan and the culprit was whisked away despite President Karzai’s insistence that the culprit be tried in Afghanistan.

The US appears to be fed up with the prolonged war and wants to get rid of it, but is also looking for some face-saving options. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has even said that the US would stop combat operation in the insurgency-torn Afghanistan by the end of 2013. The prolonged war has cost lives of hundreds of soldiers, while the economic loss incurred to the country is in billions of dollars.

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Women’s meeting to bring change to Eastern Afghanistan [Image 6 of 9]
Women’s meeting to bring change to Eastern Afghanistan [Image 6 of 9]
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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