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`War-weary` Afghan Taliban to launch political party?

Last Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 14:33

Islamabad: The Afghan Taliban are considering a `political solution` to over a decade-long conflict in Afghanistan, according to a senior Taliban leader.

Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, former head of the Taliban Political Commission and a close confidant of the militia`s elusive leader Mullah Omar, said the outfit should launch a political movement to achieve the goals, reports The Express Tribune.

Mutasim said the Taliban leaders whose names have been removed from the UN black list will play an important role in the political process. However, he added that the warring faction was the "vital part of the Taliban".

When asked about the possible launch of their political party, Mutasim said they are waiting for conducive conditions to make a formal announcement.

Of late, Pakistan`s influential politico-religious leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman met with Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital of Doha in an effort to broker peace talks between the ultraorthodox militia and the Hamid Karzai administration. Officially, both sides denied the meeting.

The Taliban spokesperson has said umpteen times that his group would not talk to the administration of President Karzai who, he says, is a puppet and that the real power-wielder is the US.

Mutasim was a minister in the Taliban regime before it was toppled by the US and its allies in 2001. He had survived an assassination attempt in Karachi in 2010, and now lives in Turkey. He is also concerned about possible civil war in the post-2014 Afghanistan.

Political analyst Rashid Waziri, who is an adviser at the Regional Studies Centre of Afghanistan, said he believes the Taliban are tired of war and it will be a step in the right direction if they launch a political movement.


First Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 14:14
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