In an interview today Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed that there are “informal” discussions going on with unnamed members of the Taliban, and that these “personal contacts have been going on for quite some time.”
The reports add at least a little credence to last week’s reports that there are talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban on ending the war, though Karzai’s lack of specific details leaves it very much in the dark.
But the comments were quickly rejected by US envoy Richard Holbrooke, who insisted that reports of the actual peace talks had been invented by the media and were not real. Holbrooke also added that the US wasn’t at all involved int he talks, and reiterated demands that the Taliban offer a total surrender, disarm and swear loyalty to the Afghan constitution and to women’s rights as conditions for such a move.
President Karzai also denied US claims that he was a drug addict and had been receiving treatment for manic depression, saying that he takes Tylenol when he has a headache and that this is about it.