Afghan Opposition Parties Unite, Talk With Taliban

Eye on Including Taliban, Other Militants in Future Coalition

Former Afghan Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, along with a number of other key opposition figures in the Afghan government have joined forces in an effort to start their own, separate peace negotiations with the Taliban.

The Karzai government’s attempts at talks have stalled, and with Karzai’s term limit keeping him from running again next year the opposition believes they can improve their own chances if they have a deal in place before the vote with the Taliban.

And not just the Taliban. The bloc is reportedly approaching several militant leaders, including Hezb-i Islami leader Guibuddin Hekmatyar, in the hopes of uniting the disparate groups as part of a political bloc that would have such broad support it could end the war in short order.

How easy this will be remains to be seen. The Taliban has opposed talks with Karzai as a US puppet, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar has a long time rivalry with Hekmatyar, so getting both on board for the same deal could be a tall order indeed.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.