US asked to exercise great caution in talks with Taliban

March 14th, 2009 - 1:35 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Mar 14 (ANI): The International Crisis Group has said that great caution should be exercised in any talks with the Taliban operating in Afghanistan, as the insurgents have used the previous peace deals which broke down within months to strengthen themselves.

President Barack Obama has floated the idea of talking to moderate Taliban elements as part of a new strategy for the war against the militants.

In its report, the Brussels-based ICG warned that previous truce deals with militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan enhanced the power and activities of violent insurgents, while doing nothing to build sustainable institutions.

The ICG called for the strengthening of security, democracy and the rule of law to win over war-weary Afghans, the BBC reported.

Only when citizens perceive the state as legitimate and capable of delivering security, good governance and the rule of law will Afghans be able to resist jihadi pressures and overtures, the report said.

The think-tank admitted that there were no easy options in fighting militants. We know now what no to do… Knowing what to do, and how to do it, is harder, it said.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said on Friday that the Obama Administration was close to announcing the new strategy.

According to US officials, the key objectives will be getting Pakistani help in the fight against extremism and reducing American expectations for military victory, the BBC reported.

The White House expects to announce the new objectives for the war, which it admits is not being won, next week. President Obama has recently ordered the deployment of additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan.

Officials say that the role of Pakistan is critical within the new strategy and that it must be made to realise that doing more to contain extremism is in its own interests as well as those of the international community.

President Obama is expected to explain his plans to allies when he attends a Nato summit in Europe next month. (ANI)

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