Afghanistan's Karzai Calls for Talks with Taliban



Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has made a call for peace to fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar, saying he has asked the king of Saudi Arabia to help in talks with the militant group to bring an end to the insurgent activities.  Meanwhile, neighboring Pakistan has named a new head of the country's spy agency, which is suspected of having ties with Taliban militants.  From Islamabad, Ayaz Gul reports.

President Hamid Karzai disclosed that for the past two years he has been in regular contact with the king of Saudi Arabia, urging him to facilitate peace talks between the Afghan government and insurgent Taliban leader, Mullah Omar.  

The Afghan president was speaking to reporters in Kabul at the start of the Muslim festival of Eid-al Fitr. 

President Karzai says that as a leader of the Islamic world, he has been urging the Saudi king to help the Afghan government in establishing peace, security and reconciliation in the country. He reiterated his call for peace with fugitive Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. Calling on the insurgent Taliban leader as his brother, the Afghan president urged Mullah Omar to stop the killing of his people and return home to work for the peace and security of Afghanistan.

But Mr. Karzai denied reports that Afghan politicians have already held direct talks with Taliban insurgents in Saudi Arabia.  He said that his representatives have traveled to neighboring Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to seek help, but negotiations with insurgents will only take place inside Afghanistan. 

Taliban insurgents have long refused to hold talks with the U.S-backed Karzai administration, saying they will continue attacks until international troops leave Afghanistan.

Insurgent attacks have intensified in Afghanistan this year, with commanders of the U.S-led coalition forces calling for increased troop levels to combat the insurgency.

A roadside bomb killed three coalition troops Tuesday in southern Afghanistan.  Taliban-led insurgent attacks have killed more than 220 foreign soldiers in the country this year, the highest number of casualties since the U.S-led coalition dislodged the Taliban from power in late 2001. 

Afghan and Coalition commanders also allege Taliban insurgents are using sanctuaries in neighboring Pakistan to launch cross-border attacks. They also suspect that elements in the Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services-Intelligence or ISI, are helping the militants.

Pakistan denies the allegation and has appointed Lieutenant General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha as the new head of the spy agency.  He has been overseeing anti-Taliban operations in the country's volatile tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, which are know for harboring Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs