President Hamed Karzai announced on his return from the US back to Kabul that he is ready to talk with Mullah Omr, Taliban leader, and Gulbudin Hekmatia the leader of Hezb Islami. Karzai addressed in a press conference that his government started talks with the Taliban; this is welcomed by United States and United Nation.
Over the last months this is the third time that Karzai is talking about his government being in discussion with opposition insurgents, especially Taliban, but this is the first time Karzai utterly frank invited Mullah Omar and Hekmatiar for discussion.
In his first conference after returning from the US Hamed Karzai told the media that if he had the address of these two opposition leaders, he personally will send people to talk with them.
"If a group of Taliban or a number of Taliban comes to me and asks, "President, we want a department in this or that ministry or we want a position as deputy minister... and we don't want to fight anymore," ... If there is a demand or request like that to me, I will accept it because I want to end the conflicts and fighting in Afghanistan," Karzai said.
"I wish there would be a demand as easy as this. I wished that they would want a position in the government. I will give them a position," he said.
Because of the sensitivity of talks with Taliban in society and government he suddenly expressed the affirmation of his government, like with Mullah Omar and Hekmatia he will talk about specific circumstances to respect the constitution and the six years of his government results. He pointed out that he had started consultancy with his cabinet and leaders of parties.
He also pointed out that during his last visit to New York he has talked about this issue with Bush and some other world leaders.
Three weeks ago the Taliban announced they're ready to talk with the Afghan government, without any specific circumstances. On one hand, this was a very hasty reaction from rebels who had always wanted the international forces to withdraw from Afghanistan, but that this comes so simple also embarrassed the international community. On the other hand, Afghan government was not sure if the ones they were talking to represent the Taliban, or just a small group.
Every time when there were talks of negotiation with Taliban the Afghan government was challenged. For example, 'talks with Taliban' means talks with the leader of Taliban Mullah Omar? If so, it is also a fact that Mullah Omar is known as a terrorist key figure on the list of the United States of America. So, what will happen with him?
This always has been a serious question for the government, but the Afghan authorities always gave vague answers to media. They only say again and again: with anyone who believes in the Afghan constitutional law, the government would have no problem.
Oct 9, 2007