Taliban should have been engaged in 2002: Carter
KABUL (PAN): The top British military officer in Afghanistan has said the global fraternity should have engaged the Taliban in negotiation on the country's future immediately after their ouster from power in 2001.
General Nick Carter, in an interview published in the Guardian newspaper on Saturday, said: "The problems that we have been encountering over the period since then are essentially political problems, and political problems are only ever solved by people talking to each other."
Back in 2002, he recalled, the Taliban were on the run and the world might have spotted that a final political solution to what started in 2001would have involved getting all Afghans to sit at the table and talk about their future.
Also the deputy commander of ISAF, Gen. Carter said the opponents of the Karzai government realised they would could be up against capable Afghan security forces. But he believed Afghan forces would need western military and financial support for several years after western combat troops leave in 2014.
ISAF's transfer of security to Afghan forces would eventually bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, he hoped, calling 2013 a year of heavy violence. He referred to a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent weeks.
"First of all, people like to negotiate from a position of strength, and secondly I think the opponents of Afghanistan would like to appear to compel the international community's withdrawal. I don't think it's surprising that we are seeing spectacular attacks in Kabul..." he remarked.
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