Afghanistan to offer Taliban leaders exile for peace: Report
Last Updated: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 13:54
Kabul: Afghanistan is proposing to offer top Taliban leaders exile if they agree to stop fighting against the government under a peace deal being drawn up, a British newspaper reported on Thursday.

The proposal is part of a radical Peace and Reintegration Programme to be presented to tribal leaders at a peace conference or "jirga" of tribal and political leaders from around Afghanistan later this month, The Guardian said.

The plan is expected to top the agenda when President Hamid Karzai holds talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington on May 12, a meeting the Afghan leader's spokesman this week described as "extremely important."

The document seen by The Guardian says insurgent leaders could face "potential exile in a third country", the report said, adding that Saudi Arabia has been used in the past for such purposes.

It also calls for "deradicalisation" classes to be set up for insurgents and thousands of new manual jobs to be created for foot soldiers who renounce violence, the report said.

Under the plan, former fighters who agreed to lay down their arms would be given an amnesty against prosecution for any crimes they may have committed and offered vocational training in such trades as carpet-weaving and tailoring.

Karzai has long been keen to hold talks with top Taliban leaders in an effort to quell a crippling and increasingly deadly insurgency against his Western-backed government.


First Published: Thursday, May 06, 2010, 13:54

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