Posted by: Lister | September 30, 2007

Taliban offered Government post

After a suicide bomber killed 28 soldiers and two civilians while trying to board a bus, Karzai said:

President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing, which was claimed by the Taliban, calling it “against people, against humanity, definitely against Islam”. In a separate statement yesterday, he offered to meet the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Omar, for peace talks and to give the militants a high position in a government ministry as a way to end the worsening insurgency.

But the Taliban are reluctant to discuss such things while NATO troops are in the region. W Post:

But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi repeated a position he announced earlier this month, saying there would be no negotiations until U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

“The Taliban will never negotiate with the Afghan government in the presence of foreign forces,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press. “Even if Karzai gives up his presidency, it’s not possible that Mullah Omar would agree to negotiations.”

But Karzai’s spokesman said the government has information of a “serious debate” in some groups of Taliban about how long militants want to continue fighting. The U.N. and NATO have also said they see similar indications.

“They want to live in peace and have a comfortable life with their families,” Hamidzada said. “There is serious debate within their ranks, but this is a process that takes time.”

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