Afghanistan's Karzai to Offer Taliban Money for Jobs and Arms

23/01/2010 17:37
Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai is trying to entice members of Taliban to surrender their arms to the government in exchange for cash and jobs. Taliban immediately rejected the proposal saying they cannot be bought.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is offering the Taliban money and jobs in exchange for their arms in an effort to address the long drawn insurgency in the country.
 
Karzai's plan echoed similar proposals by Washington to try and bring low and mid-level extremists back into mainstream society, but the leadership of Islamist insurgent groups remain hostile to negotiations. The Islamist militants have been fighting the Afghan government and foreign troops since the Taliban was outed in 2001 by US led invasion.
 
"We know as the Afghan people we must have peace at any cost," Karzai said in the television interview aired Friday ahead of an international conference on Afghanistan in London next week, where he will present the plan.
 
"Those that we approach to return will be provided with the abilities to work, to find jobs, to have protection, to resettle in their own communities." Apparently the Karzai proposal on monetary rewards and jobs for the insurgents will match the the pay of Taliban foot soldiers.
 
The Afghan government forces are paid less than what the Taliban is giving to their members or foot soldiers. Karzai said that hard line insurgents who are known al-Qaeda members are not covered by the proposed monetary rewards.
 
The Taliban leadership rejected the proposal saying they cannot be bought by money and bounties. "We insist on our previous stance that we will not negotiate with this government. Any negotiation now would mean accepting being a slave of America. Our goal is enforcing an Islamic government and withdrawal of foreign forces."according to a Taliban spokesman.
 
In a related development, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a long-term non-military strategy to stability Afghanistan and Pakistan which aims to to rebuild the Afghan farm sector, improve governance and bring extremists back into mainstream society.
 
 
(original article appeared @ Digital Journal )

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