Kabul Starts Dialogue with Taliban: Rabbani
- Kabul Taking Steps for Dialogue with Taliban: Rabbani
September 2, 2007
Former Afghan President Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani has said that the
Afghan government has taken numerous measures to engage Taliban in a
dialogue in an effort to restore peace to his embattled country.
"Without the participation of Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, peace
cannot be established in the war-ravaged country," he told
participants of a one-day seminar entitled "Pak-Afghan Relations" here
"Talks are a better way to resolve problems than guns. Wars make
problems worse instead of resolving them. We have to adopt the path of
talks," he said.
Mr Rabbani said he was strongly opposed to the proposed US plan of
moving US forces from Iraq to Afghanistan and said it would make no
difference. He said the situation could further aggravate, it the US
went ahead with the plan.
He said some international powers were afraid of better relations
between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said the US and Nato forces had come to Afghanistan not to serve
its people, but they had their own vested interests.
He called upon Pakistan and Afghanistan to resolve all problems
through talks instead of engaging other foreign countries.
He said the foreign policy of Afghanistan was aimed at developing
friendly relations with all countries, with special focus on
neighbouring countries. "I believe in the simple fact that Pakistan is
for Afghanistan and the vice versa," Prof Rabbani observed.
Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director-general Lt-Gen
(retd) Asad Durrani denied that Pakistan was involved in establishing
a friendly government in Afghanistan.
"We believe that a government, acceptable to its people, is a friendly
government," he said.
"So far as the question of Pakistan's interest in strategic depth is
concerned I would say that of course its significance can't be denied
but not at the cost of freedom of any country," he said.
Referring to the mayhem in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the former
spy chief said that the Pakistan Army had no morale as it was
operating against its own people.
Brig (retd) Mahmood Shah said that Pakistan wanted peace in
Afghanistan as its own stability was linked to it. About Afghan
government's allegations of infiltration of militants into its
territory from Pakistan, he said it was impossible for Pakistan to
monitor such a long and porous border.
About militancy in the tribal region, he said the deployment of the
army in these areas for such a long period was not a wise decision.
He asked the government to withdraw troops from tribal areas and the
political administration should be augmented and mandated to resolve
all issues in line with tribal traditions.
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