Aide: Karzai Won’t Offer Taliban ‘Power-Sharing’ Deal

Will Demand Taliban Disarm for 'Settlement'

Speaking today to McClatchy, Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, a close ally of President Hamid Karzai, ruled out offering any sort of “power-sharing” to the Taliban or making any changes to the Constitution as part of a negotiated settlement.

Power-sharing as a condition for making peace is not acceptable to us,” insisted Spanta, adding that the Taliban would be allowed to participate in the election if they agree to disarm and sign the deal, apparently the only thing they get.

Which isn’t much, particularly when Afghanistan’s national electoral process is so overwhelmingly corrupt. Previous comments from Western and Afghan officials implied that there would be some sort of increased power for local governments to allow Taliban to retain de facto control over its regions as part of such a deal.

Instead it seems the Karzai government is offering virtually nothing as an enticement, an odd position given that the war has gone on for nearly a decade and is getting worse all the time. It may reflect growing confidence amongst officials that the US-led occupation will keep them at least nominally in power for the forseeable future.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.