Thursday, January 28, 2010
Ahead of London summit, Taliban reveal demands
The Taliban say the 60-nation conference in London on Afghanistan will be a waste of time should it not entirely focus on the departure of foreign forces from the war-torn country.
In a statement Wednesday, the militants said the outcome of the summit will be as disappointing as of the meetings in Paris and Tokyo, if it does not consider the reality on the ground.
World leaders and senior representatives from around the globe are in London to attend the high-profile conference on the future of Afghanistan.
Ahead of the summit, Taliban spokesman Zabihuallh Mujahid said the only solution is the withdrawal of all international troops from Afghanistan, a Press TV correspondent reported.
To bring peace to the country, the statement said, all Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Bagram prisons should be released and all Taliban leaders should be removed from the UN blacklist.
The Taliban, it said, will continue to fight foreign forces to free the country from occupation.
The US, which led the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to fight terrorism and root out the Taliban, meanwhile, is mulling over a plan to reintegrate the militants in the country's political system.
US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke says the plan will force the Taliban lay down their weapons and stop resisting foreign forces.
According to Holbrooke, the US believes two-thirds of the Taliban can be pardoned as they do not follow extremism.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, more than a hundred thousand foreign troops are facing an increasing struggle to fight militancy and restore security in several parts of the country.