Karzai Claims ‘Daily’ Taliban Talks

Insists He Already Has Indirect Contact With Mullah Omar

by Jason Ditz, February 21, 2012

In an interview today with Australia’s SBS television network, Afghan President Hamid Karzai claims that people in his government “talk to the Taliban every day,” adding that there have been several discussions through intermediaries with Mullah Omar.

We were talking to them just a few days ago somewhere around this region,” Karzai insisted in the interview, which was taped in Kabul. The claims, particularly as they relate to Mullah Omar, seem extremely dubious.

This is because late last week President Karzai engaged in two days of intensive talks with Pakistan and Iran, and repeatedly pressed Pakistan to set him up with a meeting with Mullah Omar.

The Taliban likewise has repeatedly denied that it would ever have any talks with Karzai, saying that it didn’t believe he had anything to offer so long as Afghanistan was occupied by NATO troops. The US is talking with the Taliban in Qatar, though Karzai is not involved.

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