News / Asia

Taliban Rejects Talks as Britain's Cameron Tours Region

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 29, 2013.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister David Cameron during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 29, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
International-backed efforts to seek a negotiated end to the 12 years of grinding war in Afghanistan have suffered another blow after Taliban rebels apparently rejected conditions for proposed peace talks.  The development comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron concluded a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of efforts to revive the stalled peace process. 

In its first formal reaction following the opening of the controversial Taliban political office nearly two weeks ago in Qatar, the Afghan insurgent group has harshly criticized the United States and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for allegedly “wasting time” and making “false commitments” regarding proposed peace talks.

In a Pashto language statement emailed to VOA late Saturday, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, says “coercion, threats, provocation” and demands that Taliban fighters surrender have not worked in the past and will not work in the future to solve the Afghan problem.

The Islamist group also accused the United States of being in a “state of confusion” and lacking a “firm stance” on the peace talks.  It also snubbed the Afghan president for his opposition to a direct dialogue between the Taliban and the United States.

Earlier, President Karzai warned foreign peace plans could weaken his country and lead to a disintegration of Afghanistan. Speaking alongside visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron in Kabul on Saturday, the Afghan president ruled out any pre-conditions by insurgents or concessions given to the Taliban for resuming talks.

“Therefore, there was that massive strong reaction to the manner in which the Taliban office in Doha was inaugurated," he said. "The Taliban, once they have joined the peace process, once they begin to talk to their Afghan brothers and sisters, if they have any demands they should put them forward and then there is a mechanism provided in our constitutions for amendments in the constitution.”

Karzai is also suspicious of the role Pakistan has played in the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar.  Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency was behind the rise of the Islamist group during Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s.  Islamabad's admission it is trying to facilitate the current peace effort indicates the ties remain intact. 

But after talks Sunday in Islamabad with Cameron, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to address Afghan concerns.

“We believe that such a process should be inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.  I have assured Prime Minister Cameron of our firm resolve to promote the shared objective of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, to which the three-million Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan can return with honor and dignity,” he said.

Prime Minister Cameron welcomed his Pakistani counterpart’s pledge, saying peace and stability is vital for both the neighboring countries.

“And I know that you and President Karzai will work together towards those ends," he said.

The opening of a Taliban office in Qatar earlier this month renewed hopes over the prospect of a peaceful end to the Afghan conflict.  The United States and President Karzai revealed hours before the inaugural ceremony they were sending peace envoys to the Gulf state for holding separate meetings with the rebels.   

But the process immediately came to a halt after President Karzai angrily reacted to the Taliban raising their flag over the office and designating the Qatar facility as belonging to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name the insurgent group used for Afghanistan during its five-year rule.

Feeling betrayed by the United States, the outraged Afghan president announced he was boycotting the peace talks and suspending negotiations with Washington on a bilateral agreement that defines the American presence in Afghanistan past 2014, when most foreign troops will have withdrawn.

Some critics are advising against holding talks with the Taliban in Qatar, citing stepped up high-profile insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.  But President Karzai says the deadly violence will not deter his government from seeking peace with the Taliban.

“We want to talk peace because that is what we are seeking because that is what the country needs that is what also the Taliban need,” he said.

Karzai accuses the U.S. and Qatari governments of allowing the Taliban to use the political office as publicity stunt to gain international credibility, charges American officials immediately rejected.  U.S. officials blamed the Taliban for violating prior understandings regarding opening of their office.

The United States later persuaded authorities in Doha, the Qatari capital, to remove the Taliban flag and the nameplate from the controversial office, and endorsed the Afghan president’s concerns.  But that seems to have upset the Taliban and since then the peace talks have been on hold with no signs of their immediate resumption.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
July 01, 2013 1:37 AM
These brainless people(Qaida,Taliban,Nusra) can only kill innocent peoples,destroy education institutions,demolish houses of innocent peoples and that is all. They never ever think in constructive way. This is the training they got in Saudi Arabia. Still today SA is supporting terrorist organisation in the name of ISALM to kill innocent in Middle East,Pakistan,Afghanistan,Libya and so many country. Taliban getting weapons and financial support from which country and once proved we have to take action against that Govt and not againt that Country. Now a days this become habbit of Politicians to see human blood on street as to get satisfaction. We have very good intelligence in USA who can perform this tast to identify those Govt who are main sponsor for Taliban and take very harsh action against those Govts and not against countries.


by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
June 30, 2013 4:32 PM
It is the failure of the US foreign policy that there is no peace in Afghanistan. It was the foreign policy of the US that US will never negotiate with terrorists and terrorist organizations. Taliban is a terrorist organization. The US made the mistake of recognizing Taliban de facto to initiate peace negotiations. The US directly negotiated with Taliban for peace in Afghanistan excluding Afghanistan, enraging Ahmed Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. Afghanistan withdrew from peace negotiations. Now the Taliban is withdrawing from peace negotiations. The only reason that US recognized and negotiated with Taliban is for the freedom of the American in their hands in exchange for Talibans at Guantanamo, so that President Obama can close the prison in Guantanomo. When is President Obama going to recognize al Qaida, another terrorist organization?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid