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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - High Peace Council
The Afghan Taliban's top leader says the Islamic radicals who once sheltered Osama bin Laden view talks with the U.S. as a way to put an end to the "occupation" of Afghanistan, but will never abandon their religious principles or national interests.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday suspended talks on a bilateral security deal with the United States to protest the Obama administration's handling of peace negotiations with the Taliban militants who sheltered Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
The Taliban announced Tuesday that after nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan they are ready for talks with the United States, as senior Obama administration officials said discussions with the Islamic militants who sheltered Osama bin Laden would start within days.
A top Afghan negotiator said Tuesday he hopes eight Taliban members freed by Pakistan will serve as peace mediators, describing Islamabad's move as a major step forward for Kabul's effort to enlist its neighbor's help in negotiating an end to its 11-year war.
The Taliban on Wednesday announced the start of their spring fighting season, just hours after President Obama concluded a surprise visit to Afghanistan.
A militant group responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan has rejoined peace talks with President Hamid Karzai's government, and four other factions followed after Afghan security forces crushed an attack by terrorists in Kabul earlier this week.
Women in Afghanistan are worried that the freedoms they have won since U.S. forces toppled the brutal Taliban regime 10 years ago will be squandered if the Islamic hard-liners return to power through a U.S.-led peace process.
Japan's response to the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 tsunami was confused and riddled with problems, including an erroneous assumption an emergency cooling system was working and a delay in disclosing dangerous radiation leaks, a report revealed Monday.
The assassination of Afghanistan's former president was plotted in Pakistan, the government said Sunday, increasing pressure on its neighbor that already is facing heat from the Obama administration about its ties to recent terrorist attacks.
The suicide bomber who killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani gained access to him by presenting officials beforehand with an audio recording of a purported peace message from the Taliban, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday.
The suicide bomber who killed the head of an Afghan peace council struggling to start meaningful negotiations with the Taliban delivered a potentially fatal blow to the efforts to find a political settlement in Afghanistan.
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who headed a national council dedicated to brokering peace with the Taliban, was killed in a suicide bombing at his home in Kabul on Tuesday.
Two Afghan government sources say former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani has been killed in the capital Kabul.
Direct U.S. talks with the Taliban had evolved to a substantive negotiation before Afghan officials, nervous that the secret and independent talks would undercut President Hamid Karzai, scuttled them, Afghan and U.S. officials told the Associated Press.
The Afghan government's reconciliation effort with the Taliban is being hamstrung by a lack of participants who wield clout within the militant group and a "peace council" viewed by many Afghans as more eager to maintain the status quo.