London Meeting to Yield Little Result in Disarming Taliban
    2010-01-29 13:46:03     Xinhua      Web Editor: Qin Mei

As the much-awaited international conference on Afghanistan opened in London Thursday, Afghans see little chance in achieving the goals set for at the forum attended by representatives of 70 nations and international organizations.

Security, good governance and development are the priorities that the war-weary Afghans need to move towards a prosperous state, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in his remarks at the conference.

Karzai also said that the Afghan government is ready to negotiate with those Taliban fighters who have no link with the al- Qaida and other terrorist networks.

However, Afghans see little chance in bringing militants into mainstream of community and convincing them to lay down arms.

"Taliban would not accept any peace plan presented in London as the militants term the international troops deployed in Afghanistan as the occupying force," an Afghan analyst and former Taliban official Waheed Mughda told Xinhua.

Mughda also is of the view that the London conference would have little impact on regional cooperation in counter-insurgency as Iran, an immediate Afghanistan's neighbor, did not attend the forum.

Hosted by Britain with an objective to muster international community's support to help Afghan government in fighting militancy, corruption and ensuring good governance, the participants at the conference are expected to establish a fund for encouraging Taliban to hand over their weapons.

To bolster the peace process with the Taliban, the United Nations a day earlier on Wednesday removed the names of five former Taliban leaders from the black list, including the ousted regime's foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil who lives in Kabul.

According to the peace plan, for those Taliban fighters lay down arms and resume normal life, the government would provide with job, land and pension.

Nonetheless, Taliban outfit in a statement released on the eve of the London conference described the forum as a trick by U.S. and Britain to deceive their nations and divide the militants.

The radical outfit in the statement posted on its website Wednesday also vowed to continue Jihad or holy war till the expulsion of foreign troops from the post-Taliban nation.

The London conference took place amid Karzai's failure to have functioning cabinet at home as only 14 out of the 25 cabinet nominees have won vote of confidence from the Wolesi Jirga, or the lower house of the Afghan parliament.

Experts are of the view that incomplete cabinet would weaken Karzai's position at the conference and could raise question about his ability to achieve the ambitious plan which include brining lasting peace through reconciliation, eliminating corruption and ensuring good governance.

"I do not see any change in the policy of the U.S. and NATO in war against Taliban and associated groups," another Afghan analyst, Qasim Akhgar, told Xinhua.

A human right activist and writer, Akhgar, also doubts U.S. honesty and seriousness in war against terror. "If they (U.S. and the allied nations) were serious in war on terror, definitely the Taliban and other militants groups have already been eliminated," said Akhgar.


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