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Two Visions Of Talking To The Taliban

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

There are few things more divisive in Afghanistan today than the question of talking to the Taliban.

The issue has become a national hot-button since President Hamid Karzai created a High Peace Council in September to reach out to the Taliban and bring them into negotiations.

And it has only grown more controversial as Western powers, too, appear to increasingly back the effort.

A revelation in November 2010 that both Afghan and NATO officials were duped by an imposter into thinking they were talking with a high-level Taliban leader was not just taken locally as a measure of the allies' gullibility. It was also seen as a measure of the intensity of their negotiations drive. The imposter turned out to be a Pakistani shopkeeper according to some news reports, a Pakistani spy according to others.

On May 5, the tensions over whether to talk to the Taliban spilled into the streets of Kabul. More than 10,000 people assembled in the parking lot of one of the capital's giant wedding palaces to oppose both reconciliation with the militants and the involvement of Pakistan in any peace deal.

'Making Deals'

To read the full story

Radio Free Afghanistan's Zarif Nazar, Jan Alekozai, and Mustafa Sarwar contributed to this report. Written by Charles Recknagel

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Two Visions Of Talking To The Taliban

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