Kabul: A United Nations committee will
visit Afghanistan this month to consider the removal of
militants from its terrorism blacklist, the UN`s special
representative to the country said Saturday.
Staffan di Mistura said the visit will come at a
"crucial period" after the landmark "peace jirga" in
Afghanistan this month, which produced a 16-point resolution
that included a call for removing militant leaders from the
"The review is due by the end of the month," di
Mistura told a news briefing in the Afghan capital. However,
he said its report might be delayed because it was "linked to
a very delicate and important period in Afghanistan".
The jirga advised the government to seek the removal
of names -- including those of Mullah Mohammad Omar and
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- from the UN Security Council blacklist
compiled after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.
The list designated as terrorists Taliban and Al-Qaeda
leaders who were based in Afghanistan at the time, and helped
to provide a UN-sanctioned justification for the US-led
invasion of the country in November 2001.
"The momentum of the peace jirga, which was a success,
needs to be maintained," di Mistura told reporters.
"Some of the people on the list may not even be alive
any more. The list could be completely outdated," he added,
but stressed that the decision to remove names from the
blacklist would be up to the Security Council.
Di Mistura was among 1,600 delegates, including around
200 diplomats, who were invited to the three-day jirga, which
was held in a giant tent on the outskirts of Kabul.
At the end of the gathering the delegates drew up a
declaration which urged all parties in the Afghan conflict to
disarm and reconcile.
Other proposals included releasing some Taliban
prisoners, developing a comprehensive peace programme, a call
on militants to renounce violence and to drop all
preconditions for peace talks.
Although symbolic, the lasting impact of the jirga,
which is a traditional Afghan gathering convened in times of
trouble, remains unclear.
The Taliban, ousted by the 2001 invasion, were not
invited and attacked the opening session with rockets and
suicide bombers. The militants have vowed to boycott any peace
negotiations until the 1, 42,000 US-led foreign troops leave