Afghan jirga won't bear fruits unless top Taliban in loop: Pakistani analyst

22:39, June 07, 2010      

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The Afghan peace jirga, a grand assembly of tribal elders, has mandated Afghan President Hamid Karzai to initiate talks with Taliban insurgents in quest of a lasting peace in the three-decade war-torn Afghanistan. But it won 't bear fruits unless top Taliban leaders are in the loop, a Pakistani analyst said Monday.

"The whole exercise won't come up to the expectations of the organizers unless President Karzai manages to have some of the main Taliban leaders to discuss plan for peace and post-war political make-up of Afghanistan," Arshi Saleem, a senior research analyst with the Institute of Regional Studies in Islamabad, told Xinhua in an interview.

She was referring to the welcome gesture made by the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke in a conference in Madrid, Spain. Holbrooke said Sunday that if a member of Taliban repudiated al-Qaeda, laid his arms and worked within political system to join the government, there is nothing wrong with that. The Madrid conference was organized to discuss non-military ways to help end the Afghan conflict.

However, the main warring Taliban leaders have conditioned any initiative about talks with the complete exit of all foreign troops from Afghan soil. U.S. President Barack Obama had announced a partial withdrawal of NATO-led multinational troops from Afghanistan beginning from 2011 that does not attract Taliban much.

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