Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Taliban Fighters to Accept Amnesty

The Telegraph reports "One of the Taliban's most senior and charismatic commanders has become a key negotiator as more and more members of the Islamic militia in Afghanistan give up the fight against the Americans."

Now he is a supporter of President Hamid Karzai and is tempting diehard Taliban fighters to accept an amnesty offer and reconcile themselves to Afghanistan's first directly elected leader.

"The Taliban has lost its morale," he said, speaking by satellite phone from the heartlands of Zabul province, a Taliban redoubt. [...]

"They are in Kabul seeking peace and to boost the reconciliation process," he said, adding that he was hopeful that the Taliban surrender would take place before the parliamentary elections, expected in the summer.

Afghan officials claimed in recent days that four unnamed senior figures from the former Taliban government have accepted the US-backed offer of amnesty extended to them by Mr Karzai's government and will form a new party for the elections.

"This step is a great encouragement to other Taliban to end their struggle," said Mullah Rockety. "I have said to the Taliban that now is the time for unity, the time for Afghan brother to stop killing Afghan brother."


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