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Haqqanis to enter peace talks if Taliban do

Haqqanis to enter peace talks if Taliban do

Sep 17, 2011 - 12:58

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Haqqani group, blamed for a string of deadly attacks in Afghanistaninfo-icon, on Saturday expressed its conditional willingness to enter peace negotiations with the government and the US.

The Haqqanis would hold peace parleys with the authorities only if the Talibaninfo-icon joined the reconciliation campaign, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the group leader, said in an interview with a foreign news agency.

"They offered us very important positions but we rejected and told them they would not succeed in their nefarious designs. They wanted to divide us," he told Reuters.

Carrying a bounty of up to $5 million on his head, the dreaded commander said: "We would support whatever solution our (Taliban) Shurainfo-icon members suggest for the future of Afghanistan."

He rejected the allegation that the group had safe havens in Pakistaninfo-icon, which has lately come under mounting pressure from top US defence officials to move against the militants on its soil.

Haqqani said his supporters felt secure inside Afghanistan. "Gone are the days when we were hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Now we consider ourselves more secure in Afghanistan besides the Afghan people. Senior military and police officials are with us."

Refusing to take responsibility for Tuesday's deadly attack in Kabul, he said senior members of the Shura had asked him to keep quiet on the incident. The US and NATOinfo-icon have already blamed the Haqqanis for the 20-hour battle.

PAN Monitor/mud


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