‘Remove Taliban commanders from UN wanted list’

Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 16:16

New York: The removal of some top Taliban commanders’ names from the UN terrorist wanted list has been suggested by world body`s senior executive Kai Eide to pave the way for a breakthrough in Afghanistan.
"If you want relevant results, then you have to talk to the relevant person in authority," the top UN official in Afghanistan Eide said.

"The time has come to do it," he said and also suggested that an expeditious review of the detainees being held at the Bagram American military prison be undertaken to see if any of the prisoners could be released.”

While, calling for deletion of names of some prominent Taliban commanders from the ban list, Eide was quoted by the New York Times as saying that such an amnesty should not be extended to the topmost commander like Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar, whom he described as a shield for al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The move to get the names of top commanders to be deleted comes as the NATO commander in Afghanistan US General Stanley McChrystal has expressed opinion that the troops surge in the country could lead to a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

The comments by the NATO and the UN chief made in interviews to media come in the run up to a crucial meeting on the future of Afghanistan to be held in London on Wednesday.

McChrystal, according to Financial Times will urge his allies to renew their commitment to his strategy at the conference. His remarks revealed the growing faith the US military is placing in the hope that a power sharing arrangement can end the war.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the US commander noted that Taliban could help govern the country in future. "I think any Afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past," he said, underlining the need to find a "political solution."

"It`s not my job to extend olive branches, but it is my job to help set conditions where people in the right positions can have options on the way forward," he added.

Last week, UK based the Daily Telegraph reported that the Afghan government was considering offering Taliban leaders exile in a third country if they would renounce violence, accept the Afghan Constitution and abandon al Qaeda.

"I`d like everybody to walk out of London with a renewed commitment, and that commitment is to the right outcome for the Afghan people," Stanley said.

The General said, he would use the 30,000-strong troop surge to secure territory stretching from the Taliban’s southern heartlands to Kabul.

He said he would be aiming to weaken the Taliban, so much that its leaders would accept a political settlement. Asked if he would be content to see Taliban leaders in future government in Afghanistan, McChrystal said, "I think any Afghan can play a role if they focus on the future, not on the past."


First Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 16:16

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