“No indication” that Taliban leadership is interested in Afghan peace talks: Holbrooke

October 30th, 2010 - 5:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Normal

Washington, Oct 30 (ANI): The Taliban leaders in Afghanistan
have shown no interest so far in the Afghan reconciliation talks to end the
war, despite an intensified and increasingly effective NATO military offensive
in the region, a senior Obama administration official has said.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Richard Holbrooke said that the recent news reports of extensive discussions
between Afghan government officials and senior Taliban commanders were off
base, as there had been no such talks or discussions, let alone negotiations,
the Daily Times reported.

Individuals who have fought alongside the Taliban-
apparently not Taliban leaders themselves- have been reaching out, “picking up
the phone, metaphorically or literally,” and saying, “I’ve had enough of this
war. I’d like to talk to you,” he said.

The envoy mentioned no names but said that those who were
making such contacts were “provincial leaders, individual commanders.”

Speaking to reporters, Holbrooke said that those individuals
were “feeling the pressure” from a stepped-up offensive by NATO forces.

“This is not, however, the kind of high-level talks which
all of you are writing and speculating about,” he said.

“And those are not taking place; they’re just being written
about. And there’s a great confusion in the readers’ minds. There’s less here
than meets the eye. There’s no indication at this point that the Taliban
leadership wishes to change its course,” he added. (ANI)

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