Washington: The Obama Administration has
categorically ruled out having any talks with Taliban leader,
Mullah Omar, even as it announced its support to the
re-launched peace process by Karzai Government in Afghanistan.
"There's nothing we see that indicates that Mullah
Omar will, in fact, change his stripes; as a result, we don't
see that he qualifies to play a constructive role in
Afghanistan's future," State Department spokesman P J Crowley
"Our focus on Mullah Omar from a US standpoint is
based on his complicity in the support of al-Qaeda that led to
the plot of 9/11. From our view, Mullah Omar has been attached
at the hip to (Osama) bin Laden for some time. So based on
everything that we know about him today, in fact, he will not
meet the criteria that we have laid out," Crowley said.
Mullah Omar had many opportunities during the '90s and
even after 9/11 to disassociate himself from Osama bin Laden,
Crowley pointed out.
"There's nothing that we know that would suggest that
Mullah Omar would qualify," he said.
"We are aware that there have been some meetings
between Afghan officials and these groups. We are moving
forward on the joint strategy that we have. We are supportive
of this reconciliation and reintegration process. We believe
in the case of reintegration, we're talking about not ideology
here; we're talking about basic economics," he said.
"As the Afghan economy continues to progress as there
are opportunities for these foot soldiers to have, to play
normal constructive roles in Afghan society, we think they are
moving off of the battlefield and are changing their stripes
or changing their spots," he said.
First Published: Friday, October 15, 2010, 11:37