Taliban must have an authorised negotiator: Karzai

December 19th, 2011 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, Dec 19 (IANS) The Afghan government cannot hold peace talks with the Taliban until the terror outfit identifies a representative with the authority to negotiate, President Hamid Karzai has said.

Afghanistan also needs the help of neighbouring Pakistan for any talks to succeed, Karzai told CNN in an exclusive interview Sunday.

The president said the killing of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had attempted to meet Taliban representatives, showed that “we were actually talking to nobody”.

“A man who came in the name of a messenger for peace turned out to be a suicide bomber,” Karzai said.

“Therefore, we have now clearly said that we will welcome a Taliban address, but that address must have the clarity that this representative is authorized and is representing the Taliban movement as we see it,” the president stressed.

He said Pakistan’s involvement was important “because we all know that the Taliban have their places there. They operate from there. And a meaningful peace process cannot go well or end in satisfactory results without Pakistan’s participation and help”.

NATO forces led by the US have been battling the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan for a decade, since the 9/11 attacks. The international troops are scheduled to withdraw in 2014.

Karzai said thought the allied forces have been able to provide political stability in the past 10 years, security for individual Afghans “is yet to come”.

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