Afghan President Hamid Karzai says trying to talk peace with the Taliban is futile, and that Afghanistan’s best option is to negotiate with Pakistan.
Karzai says he prefers holding talks with Pakistani officials, following the murder of his top peace negotiator with the Taliban, former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
A suicide bomber used a fake peace message from the Taliban to gain access to Rabbani and killed him at his home in Kabul nearly two weeks ago.
On Friday, a top Western newspaper The Wall Street Journal reported the Afghan government planned to cancel a meeting next week aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The Afghan government was to have met with senior American and Pakistani officials next Saturday.
President Karzai discussed possible future peace negotiations with the Taliban on Wednesday during a meeting on with officials of his government and former commanders of the mujahideen forces who fought against Soviet forces after Moscow’s troops invaded Afghanistan in late 1979.
Karzai’s office says that, in contrast to his efforts to arrange a peace with insurgents over the past three years, the Taliban has “martyred” religious leaders, tribal elders and “women and children, old and young.”
Karzai’s aides also say the Afghan government’s efforts to improve relations with Pakistan have not been met with real efforts by authorities in Islamabad to close down “terrorist safe havens” and prevent the training and equipping of terrorists inside that country.