President Karzai repeats call for Taliban to give up militancy

17:31, September 28, 2010      

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai once again called on Taliban militants on Tuesday to give up militancy and join the peace process.

"Once again I am calling on Taliban to stop killing Afghans and destroying schools," he told an audience to mark the International Literacy Day.

Delivering an emotional speech, the Afghan president emphasized, "If Taliban are Afghan they should realize that firing any bullet would benefit the enemies of Afghanistan and damages the country's interest."

"Let us work together for stabilizing peace and stability in our country. This is our national obligation to work for the progress and prosperity of our country," President Karzai said.

He also linked the country's progress with high rate of literacy and education, noting the country will not make progress until and unless we ourselves work to achieve the goal and this noble goal is achievable only if we send our children to school and let them get education.

More than 200,000 students have been deprived of schooling mostly in the southern region where Taliban are active due to conflicts and security threats.

Taliban militants who barred girls from schooling and confined women to their houses during their 6-year rule, collapsed in late 2001, often target girl schools in parts of the country.

"We should send our children to school and facilitate them to learn and serve the nation if we want to stand on our feet," the president noted.

Presently the literacy rate in Afghanistan is 26 percent and Afghan government, according to Minister for Education Mohammad Farooq Wardak, would increase the rate of literacy to 75 percent by 2020.

Taliban militants have repeatedly rejected the offer for talks in the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

This time, the Afghan president has set up a High Council for Peaceto accelerate the government-backed national reconciliation efforts with Taliban and associated militants.

Source: Xinhua


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