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Move to get Taliban off terrorist list

December 15, 2012

— File photo

WASHINGTON: Pakistan and Afghanistan are pursuing a new peace initiative that would permit some Taliban leaders to be removed from a UN list of terrorists, says a senior Afghan official.

Azizullah Din Mohammad, a senior member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, told Bloomsburg news agency the draft plan would allow the Taliban to join the Afghan government or take part in national, parliamentary or provincial elections.But before doing so, they must sever any ties to Al Qaeda, renounce violence, and respect the Afghan Constitution.

Some US officials, while talking to Dawn, rejected the suggestion that the plan would reduce America’s role in the Afghan peace process.

They said Washington would support any plan that brought peace to Afghanistan and had always encouraged direct talks between Islamabad and Kabul.