Afghan govt. urges Taliban militants to lay down arms
Iran Press TV
Fri Feb 7, 2014 6:7PM GMT
Afghanistan's High Peace Council has called on Taliban to give up militant activities and join the government-led peace process in Afghanistan.
The council spokesman, Shahzada Shahed, said on Friday that Afghan Taliban militants should "have courage and show readiness for talks with the Afghan government and the Afghan High Peace Council."
Shahed also stated that Afghanistan's Taliban militants should "learn a good lesson" from Pakistan's Taliban.
The remarks come a day after preliminary controversial peace talks between the Pakistani government and pro-Taliban militants ended in Islamabad on Thursday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has recently called on Taliban leaders and fighters 'not to kill and destroy the dear young people of Afghanistan.'
Thousands of Afghans have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since the US-led invasion and occupation began 12 years ago.
Karzai has frequently said the militant group is pursuing the interests of foreigners in the war-torn country.
US President Barack Obama's administration supported peace talks with the Taliban after the Washington forces lost ground against the militants across Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, President Karzai has ruled out signing a security deal with the United States until disagreements over sovereignty issues, night raids and civilian causalities are resolved.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.
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