Draft sees 'exile' for Afghan Taliban leaders

Talks on the deal with the insurgents will be a key issue that Karzai will discuss with Obama during his visit to Washington next week.

Draft sees 'exile' for Afghan Taliban leaders

A draft proposal by US-backed Afghan government envisages "exile overseas" for Taliban leaders in third countries "to end a nine-year-old US led-invasion."

The draft, distributed to some diplomats and seen by Reuters, also envisages the Taliban cutting alledged ties with al Qaeda and joining the political mainstream as part of any peace accord.

The draft plan comes weeks before a grand council of Afghans, known as a "jirga", that will meet in Kabul from May 29 to discuss a deal with the insurgents.

Talks on the deal with the insurgents will be a key issue that President Hamid Karzai will discuss with U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington next week.

"The package for these levels may include: addressing the problem of sanctuaries, measures for outreach and removal from the UN sanction list, ensuring severance of links with al Qaeda, security political accommodation and potential exile to a third country," stated a copy obtained by Reuters.

The plan did not give more details. But Saudi Arabia, which has in the past facilitated at least one round of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban's emissaries, is seen as a possible place where the opposition leaders can get exile.

At the tactical and operational level, reintegration will focus on foot soldiers, small groups and local leaders who form the bulk of the insurgency, the draft says.

Donor nations in London early this year offered to provide nearly $160 million for funding the reintegration programme.

The Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme will be discussed in a follow up major donors' conference planned for either later this month or next in Kabul.

Karzai in March himself held negotiations with envoys of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister, who leads a separate insurgency force from the Taliban.

The Taliban have waged a nine-year insurgency against Karzai's Western-installed government since their own administration was overthrown by a US-led invasion in late 2001.

The Taliban have repeatedly said, they will engage only if foreign troops quit.

The United States is pouring thousands more troops into the war-ravaged country ahead of the planned operation in the southern province of Kandahar.


Agencies



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Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2010, 16:14
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