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Exclusive: Former Taliban official calls for peace talks

07-17-2011 14:34 BJT

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The US and the Taliban have to engage in direct talks, if there is to be a peaceful solution to the war in Afghanistan. That's according to the former top aide to the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil. In an exclusive interview with CCTV's Yama Wolasmal, the former Taliban foreign minister outlines how possible negotiations could take place.

He was one of Mullah Omar's closest advisors. The mysterious Taliban leader appointed Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil as his foreign minister. Only recently Mr. Mutawakkil was removed from the UN's blacklist. Now the former Taliban official is busy shuttling between western capitals, where he says governments are desperate to find a peaceful solution to the Afghan war.

Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil, Former Taliban Foreign Minister, said, "Everybody agrees now that it's time to follow the path of peace not war. But this requires all responsible parties to sit down and talk. Naturally the Americans play a leading role. After all they are calling the shots here in Afghanistan. "

Mutawakkil believes peace could have been achieved in Afghanistan, if the Americans had focused on reconciling with the remnants of Taliban after the fall of their regime 10 years ago.

Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil, Former Taliban Foreign Minister, said, "Trying to negotiate peace from a position of force is a failed strategy, because it was the use of military might, and the persecution of the Taliban, that forced them to take up arms, after the invasion."

In an exclusive interview with CCTV's Yama Wolasmal, the former
Taliban foreign minister outlines how possible negotiations could
take place.

The alienation of the Taliban must be replaced with reconciliation, according to the soft-spoken former Taliban strategist.

Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil, Former Taliban Foreign Minister, said, "The Taliban cannot be sidelined. They are also Afghans and an integral part of this country. Under the pretext of keeping peace, the foreigners have no right to side with one Afghan, only to try to kill the other."

There is deep-growing mistrust between the Taliban and the Americans. To bridge the gap between the warring factions, both have to acknowledge their mistakes and admit the facts, says the unofficial roaming ambassador of the Taliban.

Wakeel Ahmad Mutawakkil, Former Taliban Foreign Minister, said, "The Taliban are not willing to admit they allowed America's enemies to use Afghanistan as a launch pad. And the Americans won't admit they are now an occupying force. The only way to bridge this gap is for both parties to engage in direct talks."

 

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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