‘UN will recognise Taliban as political force’
PESHAWAR: Akram Khan Durrani, Leader of Opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, has said the United Nations is about to recognise the Afghan Taliban as a political force.
Opening the budget debate in the assembly on Tuesday, he said the UN would soon remove the Afghan Taliban from its list of terrorist organisations and it had already opened doors for negotiations with the group.
“I am telling you on the floor of the house that the UN will very soon declare the Taliban movement a political party,” he said and urged the government to resume talks with the ‘forces of resistance’ in the province and tribal areas to end the ongoing bloodshed.
Mr Durrani, a close associate of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had discussed the matter during his visit to Islamabad last week and sought Pakistan’s cooperation.
He said major developments were taking place in the region and the US was planning to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before 2014.
“If Karzai and America can negotiate with the Taliban why cannot our government talk with the local (militant) groups,” he said. He asked the government to stop using force in the tribal region and begin negotiations.
According to sources in the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, high-level talks have begun between the Taliban leadership and the Karzai government in Dubai.
They said President Karzai and the Afghan Reconciliation Commission’s chairman Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani had consulted the Pakistan government, particularly the ‘security establishment’, about the contacts with the Taliban.
During his meeting with Prof Rabbani in Islamabad last week, Maulana Fazl offered to facilitate his negotiations with Afghan Taliban on the condition that these should be held without US influence.
“Maulana has told Mr Rabbani that he is ready to play his role to bring all factions to the negotiating table provided the Afghan government comes out of the influence of the Americans,” the sources said.
They said all stakeholders, including the security establishment, were satisfied with the new developments.