Insurgent faction presents Afghan peace plan

The New York Times reports:

Representatives of a major insurgent faction have presented a formal 15-point peace plan to the Afghan government, the first concrete proposal to end hostilities since President Hamid Karzai said he would make reconciliation a priority after his re-election last year.

The delegation represents fighters loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, 60, one of the most brutal of Afghanistan’s former resistance fighters who leads a part of the insurgency against American, NATO and Afghan forces in the north and northeast of the country.

His representatives met Monday with President Karzai and other Afghan officials in the first formal contact between a major insurgent group and the Afghan government after almost two years of backchannel communications, which diplomats say the United States has supported.

Though the insurgent group, Hezb-i-Islami, or Islamic Party, operates under a separate command from the Taliban, it has links to the Taliban leadership and Al Qaeda and has fought on a common front against foreign forces in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the delegation, Mohammad Daoud Abedi, said the Taliban, which makes up the bulk of the insurgency, would be willing to go along with the plan if a date was set for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. Publicly, a Taliban spokesman denied that.

The plan, titled the National Rescue Agreement, a copy of which was given to The New York Times, sets that date as July 2010, with the withdrawal to be completed within six months.

Earlier, Tim McGirk reported:

Pakistan’s arrest of a dozen top Taliban leaders — military commanders, strategic planners and a financier — over the past six weeks is viewed by Afghan and NATO officials with a mixture of relief and suspicion. On one hand, the arrests have disrupted the insurgents’ chain of command, making it tougher for the Taliban’s war council to relay funds and battle plans to their commanders fighting NATO troops. But according to Afghan officials and diplomats in Kabul, the roll-up of Taliban leaders has dealt a blow to secret, preliminary talks under way during the past six months between President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban, as well as those conducted through a separate channel between the Taliban and U.N. envoys.

Sources consulted by TIME in Peshawar, Kabul and Kandahar all characterize those Taliban commanders picked up by Pakistani intelligence agencies as being more malleable to peace talks with Karzai than a core of hard-liners within the Taliban’s ruling shura, or council, who are thought to be hiding in the Pakistani cities of Quetta or Karachi. One foreign diplomat in Kabul says he looked at the list of 14 Taliban arrested by the Pakistanis and thought, “I knew eight of them personally, and they were all in favor of a peace process.” This was confirmed by Kai Eide, the U.N.’s former Special Representative in Afghanistan, who told the BBC on March 18 that Pakistan’s arrests had cut short “talks about talks” between the U.N. and the Taliban in Dubai.

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Comments

  1. Ian Arbuckle says:

    Clearly the powers like Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashraf Kayani or America’s Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the whole military industrial complex, not to mention the plans for regional strategic dominance would be totally scuppered if by some awful mistake peace was allowed break out in Afghanistan! What an unsatisfactory conclusion that would bring to Obama’s war.

    There’s always Somalia!

  2. DE Teodoru says:

    THREAT TO AMERICA (pt II) Gen. Petraeus forced Obama to replace chief of US forces in Afghanistan, Gen McKiernan, on moment’s notice with Gen. McChrystal the perjurer who made up the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman myths to cover-up friendly-fire snafus. McChrystal immediately forced on Obama a three step surge, taking advantage of Obama’s attempt in the presidential campaign not to look soft on terror by calling for withdrawal from Iraq but escalation in Afghanistan, making the Afghan surge part of Petraeus’s 2012 presidential campaign a la McArthur. Obama had the guts to put a deadline on the surge so McChrystal has to crate another fake: the illusion of victory in his Southern Afghan Campaign. Gareth Porter, my Vietnam nemisis, has done a fantastic job of exposing this stage show offensive:
    http://ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=50434
    and in analyzing its nature:
    http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LC10Df02.html
    TOM’S DIAPATCH has done an equally excellent analysis…
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LB26Df02.html
    …but what does this bunch of “Lefties” know about it, some may say, so don’t pay them any mind!
    Yet, two military strategy professors at the Naval Postgraduate School go even further in comparing this Marjah fraud to going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland:
    http://afpakwar.com/blog/archives/4729
    Indeed, it seems that the “government in a box” McChrystal is importing into that region is headed by a murderer convicted in Germany:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/01/down_the_afpak_rabbit_hole
    And the Afghan troops on whom the whole operation depends, per their US Marines colleagues are a worthless as a force:
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/24/91014/afghan-soldiers-way-below-standard.html
    Yet note how neocon Kaplan of the ATLANTIC praises McChrystal as a murder’s murder– an “A+” student of the Israeli “black ops” assassination techniques. Note non-combatant Kaplan’s propaganda openly propagandizing Americans to accept the Israeli way of fighting the neocons’ “WORLD WAR IV” against Islam thru massacre. This is the other side of the COIN I tried to lay out in the previous comment on Israeli MoD Barak’s interview on PBS. Likud is trying to take over America through the military. Though Petraeus sought to cover himself criticizing the Israelis, his take-over scheme for militarization of the US follows the Israeli military’s “parallel government” for dominating the civilian Prime Minister. Never before have we seen such exaltation of “black ops” in the media as now. We are a democracy under assault from without and within as proposed by the neocons’ main spokesman, the 85 y/o Bernard Lewis, who coined the term “Clash of Civilization” in advocating war between Christians and Arabs on behalf of Zionist interests:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/alam06282003.html
    America is under threat while economically disabled from both within and without by the same minoritarian crew trying to undermine both Obama and Netanyahu…America and Israel. The odds are dire for we are a failing empire toppled from our “unipolar moment, unable to stand up to illiterate peasants despite all our expensive war toys. Unless we recognize the mediocrity that dupes us through our media– the Petraeus Peanut Gallery of pseudo-”combat scholars” and debunk them in meaningful dialogue, we will not be able to leave to our children the American democracy our parents left to us!

  3. DE Teodoru says:

    Sorry for the ommission; here’s the URL for the Kaplan article in ATLANTIC:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/man-versus-afghanistan/7983/