Global Policy Forum

Afghan Opposition Dismiss

Agence France Presse
October 24, 2000

The Afghan anti-Taliban alliance Tuesday rejected as insincere a recent offer of talks by the ruling Taliban regime, saying the religious militia was pursuing its own political aims.

A senior opposition spokesman said they had not seen any signs of sincerity in the Taliban offer. "We are not sure if there is any change in their military programme," the spokesman, Abdullah, said. He said the offer was aimed at influencing the impending decision on Afghanistan by the United Nations Credentials Committee. Abdullah also said the ruling religious regime was seeking to alter the policy of the UN Security Council which was assessing the issue of slapping harsher sanctions against the Taliban.

The Taliban official daily Anis said Sunday the Afghan religious regime was ready for talks with the opposition anywhere and any time. The daily said education minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, recently appointed by the Taliban as the emissary for peace, had reaffirmed this position in his three-hour talks with UN peace enovy Francesc Vendrell in Kabul on Saturday. "We have always been ready for talks with the opposition anywhere and any time and have taken part with sincerity in these talks," Muttaqi was quoted saying.

Abdullah said he had a meeting with Vendrell last week in neighbouring Uzbekistan during a UN-sponsored conference.

The anti-Taliban groups, who are battling the ruling militia from a stretch of land in the northeast, have assured Vendrell of their readiness for UN-steered talks, Abdullah said. "We are always ready for talks in which the UN shall have the central role," he said. "We want a solution acceptable to the Afghan people."

The Taliban militia, which controls most of the country, is trying to oust the opposition supporters led by military commander Ahmad Shah Masood from the areas they still control. Last month the Taliban made significant gains in the region, including the capture of Masood's stronghold of Taloqan, the provincial capital of Takhar close to Tajikistan borders. Masood early this month recovered some of the lost territory, advancing to the gates of Taloqan.

More Information on Afghanistan


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.