Afghan President Karzai Forming Peace Council in Hopes of Reconciliation for Conflicted Nation

Afghan President Karzai Forming Peace Council

Afghan President Karzai Forming Peace Council

The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has announced that he is creating a peace council in an effort to reconcile and reintegrate some members of the Taliban into the mainstream Afghan society.  It is hoped that the council will help to bring peace and stability to the war ravaged country.  Council members are expected to be announced sometime next week.

U.S. General David Petraeus, the point man for American military operations in Afghanistan, said that there have been initial approaches to some members of the Taliban as the country’s government searches for ways to resolve the conflicts that riddle the nation.  He said that there have been positive signs so far. 

The General also said that government officials have already approached senior Taliban officials about defecting from the extremist regime and reintegrating into the Afghan government.  He did say that the Taliban members being reached out to were moderates, and that no agreements and peace talks were likely to be held with hard-line Taliban followers.

The main targets of the peace discussions seem to be low-level members of the Taliban, men working more for a paycheck to put food on the table rather than because they hold the same extremist beliefs as the group’s leaders.

Tom Malinowski, advocacy director of the Washington based Human Rights Watch, said that the U.S. government ultimately supports the discussions to end the conflict in the region.

As far back as January, Karzai has been pushing hard for the peace talks to begin.  At a security conference in London, England he spoke at length about the best plan for reconciliation being the Afghan government reaching out to “disenchanted brothers” and integrating them into a lawful society.  One of the methods being discussed to the get the members to cross lines is a “pay for peace” idea in which Taliban fighters would receive compensation for renouncing violence.  The money would be used to for the creation of jobs and to build housing for moderate Taliban members in order to help them transition back into civilian life.  The Afghan President also said that it would not be out of the question for former high-level Taliban commanders to take part in the Afghan government, assuming they had not ordered, or taken part in, the most violent of acts.

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