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Karzi, Taliban holding secret talks: NYT

Karzi, Taliban holding secret talks: NYT

KABUL: In a bid to persude the Taliban to make peace with his government, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been holding secret talks with Taliban officials, the New York Times citing unnamed Afghan and Western officials reported on Tuesday.

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The US-based daily newspaper reported that the Afghan president’s spokesman also confirmed that contact was made and described the past two months as positive.

However, the officials told the newspaper that the Taliban-initiated talks have been fruitless so far, although they may help explain Karzai’s mounting public hostility to Washington.

It is pertinent to mention that a two-month election campaign for Afghanistan presidential scheduled for April 5 has begun amid Taliban militants threats of targeting ti.

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Karzai, who has ruled the country since the Taliban’s overthrow in 2001, is barred from seeking a third term but his elder brother Qayum Karzai is among other heavyweight candidates contesting the election.

Meanwhile, the relations between the US and the Afghan government have grown particularly strained over Karzai’s refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement that would keep around 8,000 US troops in the war-torn country after 2014, when most foreign forces are due to leave.

The US President Barack Obama, frustrated by Karzai’s refusal to sign the accord, was due to meet top commanders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the future of the US mission in Afghanistan.

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Last month, Karzai told newsmen in Kabul that he would not sign the security deal with the US if Washington did not guarantee peace in the war-torn country. The Afghan president also blamed the US for pursuing wrong policies in the so-called fight against terrorism.

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Asad Haroon
Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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