News Taliban must have negotiator: Karzai

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Mar 5, 2010
KABUL: Afghanistan's government can't hold peace talks with its Taliban insurgents until the Islamic militia identifies a representative with the authority to negotiate, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN.

Karzai told that Afghanistan also needs the help of neighboring Pakistan for any talks to succeed "because we all know that the Taliban have their places there," Karzai said. "They operate from there. And a meaningful peace process cannot go well or end in satisfactory results without Pakistan's participation and help."

Karzai said the September assassination of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had attempted to meet with Taliban representatives, showed that "we were actually talking to nobody."

"A man who came in the name of a messenger for peace turned out to be a suicide bomber," Karzai said. "Therefore, we have now clearly said that we will welcome a Taliban address, but that address must have the clarity that this representative is authorized and is representing the Taliban movement as we see it

Already-strained ties among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States were aggravated by a November airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops at border posts along the Afghan frontier. Karzai has chafed at American raids that have killed Afghan civilians, while his critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt administration and a 2010 election that international observers said was riddled with fraud.

International troops are scheduled to be withdrawn in 2014. Karzai said the allied force has been able to provide political stability for Afghanistan over the past 10 years, but security for individual Afghans "is yet to come."

Karzai also said that Pakistan-based Sunni terror group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was responsible for the recent sectarian violence in Afghanistan that claimed around 100 lives.

"We say that this is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. If it is Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, then perhaps it's the responsibility of Pakistan, and of all of us together to go and stop this," he said.