Karzai to end Taliban peace talks, focus on Pakistan ties
But will the Afghan president's new drive to negotiate more with Pakistan achieve better results than the Taliban peace talks?
In a move that will likely bring a dramatic shift to the direction of peace talks in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has announced that he will stop talks with the Taliban and focus efforts on Pakistan.Skip to next paragraph
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Though the Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the killing, the assassination raised questions about the insurgency’s willingness to engage in peace talks.
Karzai’s announcement that the Afghan government will now focus negotiation efforts on Pakistan comes as an acknowledgement that previous peace talks were not working. But many observers say that they worry the president’s new push to involve Pakistan more may not achieve better results.
“For the last three years, the Afghan government made a lot of efforts to talk with the government opposition. The talks were not useless, but assassinations, suicide attacks, and violations by the opposition increased,” wrote Siamak Herawi, deputy spokesman for Karzai, in an e-mail to the Monitor. “After many meetings with the country’s elders, Soviet resistance leaders, and the religious scholars’ council, the president wanted to change the procedure of negotiations.”
Last fall Karzai formed the High Peace Council to reach out to the Taliban and other insurgent groups. Led by Mr. Rabbani and many other key Taliban opposition figures, the group was criticized from the start as an ineffectual outreach group and did not produce any significant results over the last year.