United Nations: The UN Security Council has
dropped five prominent Taliban members from its sanctions
blacklist under an ambitious national reconciliation plan of
Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The five were identified as Abdul Satar Paktin; Abdul
Hakim Mujahid Muhammad Awrang, a former Afghan envoy to the
UN; Abdul Salam Zaeef, Abdul Samad Khaksar and Muhammad Islam
Khaksar and Mohammadi are now deceased, Austria`s UN
mission here announced on Friday.
Austria chairs the UNSC panel that maintains a blacklist
of individuals and groups linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The list has 137 Afghan nationals and they are subject
to travel ban and asset freezes under UN Security Council
Resolution 1267 adopted in 1999.
As part of his efforts to promote national
reconciliation, Karzai had requested UNSC to drop the names of
some Taliban members who were not linked to al Qaeda from the
Kabul has set pre-conditions for peace talks with Taliban
militants, asking them to shun violence, accept the country`s
constitution and cut links with al Qaeda.
At the July 20 International Conference on Afghanistan,
Karzai had renewed his call to Taliban to lay down arms and
join the peace process and outlined his commitment to take
charge of the nation`s security by 2014.
Removal of any person from the blacklist requires
unanimous nod from all 15 members of the Security Council`s
Last month, the top UN official in Afghanistan has
called for the speedy removal of Taliban operatives from
sanctions list in order to facilitate the peace process.
"It is essential that the momentum of the recent peace
jirga held in Afghanistan is maintained and utilised to
advance dialogue towards development and stability in the
country," said Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary General?s
Special Representative in Afghanistan.
In January also, five members were taken off the list.
Those removed were Abdul Wakil Mutawakil, former foreign
minister, Abdul Hakin, former deputy foreign affairs minister,
Faiz Mohammad Faizan, former deputy commerce minister,
Shams-us-Safa, a former official under the Taliban and