Lahore, Sept 25 : NWFP Governor Owais Ghani has said that the US should talk to Mullah Omar in order to negotiate peace in Afghanistan. Further elaborating his suggestion, he said that the West must hold talks with the Taliban as "Al Qaeda was regrouping from Iraq to Afghanistan".
Urging the US to 'talk' to militant commanders in Afghanistan to establish peace, Ghani said: "They have to talk to Mullah Omar, certainly - not maybe, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Jalaluddin Haqqani group."
All the three militant commanders were in Afghanistan, he said and added that the West must accept that the "Mullah is a political reality".
"The solution, the bottom line, is that political stability will only come to Afghanistan when all political power groups, irrespective of the length of their beard, are given their just due share in the political dispensation in Afghanistan," the Daily Times quoted the Governor as saying in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
According to the paper, Ghani's remarks are expected to 'cause controversy' among Pakistan's allies in the war on terror.
"They are a power group that has to be preserved to seek political solutions. We would not destroy them because then you are contributing to further instability," he said, and denied that Pakistan "wants the Taliban back", and went on to say Pakistan had 'no favourites' in Afghanistan.
He, however, denied that Pakistan was supporting them, by pointing out that it had handed over key Taliban ground commanders operating in Helmand.
"To eliminate the Taliban you have to slaughter half the Afghan nation," Ghani said, and added that Afghan President Hamid Karzai "does not represent any power group - tribal, religious or political and therefore, like the people in his government, he is dependant on foreign power. He is therefore an obstacle to dialogue and peace."
Ghani described Pakistan's military strategy as one of containment. "We are not looking for quick fixes," he said.