Sunday, March 01, 2009

VIDEO/AFGHANISTAN: Secret talks between Karzai government and Taliban ...

While Australian and NATO troops are engaged in fierce fighting against the Taliban, the US-backed Islamist government of Hamid Karzai is secretly negotiating to strike a deal with Taliban leaders. The secret talks have taken place in Saudi Arabia, London and Dubai. The US denies any direct involvement in the secret negotiations.

It seems the deal involves allowing leader of the Hizb-i-Islami jihadi faction, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to be allowed to eventually return to Afghanistan with full immunity from prosecution. Hekmatyar led one of the larger jihad factions that fought against the Soviet Union during the 1980's, most of his support coming from the US and Saudi Arabia. Following Soviet withdrawal, Hekmatyar served as Prime Minister but was unable to resolve differences with his main jihadi rival, the late Ahmad Shah Masud of the Jamiat-i-Islami faction. The current Karzai government is dominated by Masud loyalists.

But after 9/11, Hekmatyar decuded to support the Taliban. Following the Taliban's defeat, Hekmatyar has been in hiding.

Will the talks succeed? Who knows ...

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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