`Taliban may get control of some Afghan provinces in future`

Afghan government has held the "final round" of talks with Taliban representatives.

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 00:13 AM IST

Peshawar: Afghan government has held the
"final round" of talks with Taliban representatives, improving
chances of a viable roadmap for a broad-based dispensation in
the war-torn country in future under which some provinces
could be handed over to the militant outfit.

Afghan-Taliban commanders Aminullah and Maulvi Bismillah
represented supreme militant commander Mullah Omer in three
round of talks with the government of Afghan President Hamid
Karzai, who "partially participated" in the parleys, sources
familiar with the process told PTI today.

An announcement about a draft agreement between the two
sides is expected to be made in Saudi Arabia. This agreement
will contain a roadmap for the future broad-based set-up in
Afghanistan, the sources claimed.

The third and final round of talks, which was held in
Kabul recently, was "very successful" as the parties to the
conflict agreed to a "feasible roadmap" for the formation of a
broad-based government in Afghanistan, the sources further
claimed.

"Final conditions" have been laid down for this process
and the Taliban agreed not to have any ministers in the
central Cabinet.

The final draft of the talks has been prepared and the
Afghan government sent a copy to the United States while the
Taliban forwarded the same to Saudi Arabia, the sources said.

The Afghan government freed five important Taliban
commanders, including Maulvi Rasool, in return for the release
of Abdul Khaliq Farahi, the Afghan ambassador-designate to
Pakistan who was kidnapped over two years ago in Peshawar.
The Taliban representatives at the talks also made it
clear to the Afghan government that they were not involved in
a suicide attack in Jalalabad. They argued that if they had
resorted to such attacks, the release of Farahi would not have
been possible.

The sources said the Afghan government had reportedly
agreed to give the control of some provinces to the Taliban.
However, the exact number of such provinces could not be
immediately ascertained.

The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from provinces to be
handed over to the Taliban in the wake of the implementation
of the agreement between the two sides would begin from
January 2011, the sources said.

They further said that before the commencement of the
third round of talks in Kabul, several warring Afghan groups
met in Male, capital of Maldives.

The draft of the proposed agreement will be discussed
with Saudi authorities after Eid-ul-Azha, the sources added.

PTI