Karzai, Petraeus in talks on Afghan militias: Spokesman

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 11:53

Kabul: Afghanistan`s President and the
commander of foreign forces in the country are trying to reach
an agreement on creating a grassroots militias to fight the
Taliban, an official said Tuesday.

US media have reported that US General David Petraeus,
who took over command of 140,000 US and NATO troops on July 4,
has been pushing for the establishment of Iraq-style tribal
militias to fight militants in remote Afghan villages.

The reports have said that President Hamid Karzai has
opposed the plan because of its potential to weaken his
government.

Karzai`s spokesman today confirmed that talks have been
going on between the two men, but he played down any
difference of opinion on the militias.

"Everybody agrees that we have to make sure that if these
forces are developed that they are developed with all the
necessary checks and balances required by the constitution,"
Waheed Omar told reporters.

"The good point is that on most of it we all agree. But
we (still) have to agree on some other issues," he said,
without elaborating.

He said the talks between Karzai and Petraeus were
continuing and the two men had met again today, along with US
ambassador to Kabul Karl Eikenberry.

Afghan and NATO officials said today`s meeting was the
ninth between Karzai and Petraeus since the US general took
command after last month`s dismissal of his predecessor,
General Stanley McChrystal.

Omar said a final decision on setting up village militias
was likely as early as tomorrow, and said it could go either
way.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 11:53

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