Madrid: Backing Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to ‘reach out’ to the Taliban through the peace jirga, President Obama’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that Washington accepts that the final political solution in the war-ravaged country could involve ‘reformed’ Taliban in the government if certain “red lines” are respected.
Addressing an international conference here, Holbrooke described the recent peace jirga called by Karzai as an important step towards establishing stability and peace in the troubled country and that the Obama administration supports every move in that aspect.
“The door is open and this jirga was a benchmark event on the road to the effort toward reconciliation,” he said.
Responding to a question that whether Washington’s support to Kabul in reaching out to the Taliban also included top commanders like supreme leader Mullah Omar, Holbrooke clarified that the Afghan war could never be won by military means solely.
“Let me be clear on one thing, everybody understands that this war will not end in a clear-cut military victory. It’s not going to end on the deck of a battleship like World War II, or Dayton, Ohio, like the Bosnian war,” The Daily Times quoted Holbrooke, as saying.
He also noted that while it was impossible to negotiate with al Qaeda, the case was different with the Taliban.
“It’s going to have some different ending from that, some form of political settlements are necessary ... you can’t have a settlement with al Qaeda, you can’t talk to them, you can’t negotiate with them, it’s out of the question. But it is possible to talk to the Taliban leaders,” Holbrooke said.