Karzai's political foes not in talks with Taliban
20 March, 2013
KABUL: Opposition parties have not yet taken any decision on entering peace negotiations with insurgents, a politician said on Tuesday, dispelling the impression that talks were underway between the two sides.
A leader of the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan, headed by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, repudiated recent media reports that the council of cooperation of opposition parties had launched parleys with two the Taliban and the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led party.
According to the reports, leading political figures including former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ali Ahmad Jalali were involved in the discussions with the fighters on ending the insurgency.
But Eng. Mohammad Khan, a senior member of the HIA faction led by Arghandiwal, told Pajhwok Afghan News the opposition alliance had not entered talks with the insurgents so far.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of some individuals do so in their personal capacity or on their parties' behalf.
Khan said his party was supportive of the reconciliation drive in the supreme interest of Afghanistan. "But I'm unaware of the opposition groupings talking to the fighters. Our Council of Cooperation hasn't yet initiated such a move."
Set up six months ago, the council represents 20 opposition groups, including the National Coalition, Afghanistan National Front, Junbish-i-Millie, HIA, Jamiat-i-Islami, Afghanistan People's Islamic Unity Party and Right and Justice Party.