Taliban leaders 'offered asylum' under London peace plan

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Kabul, Jan. 21 (ANI): Taliban leaders could be offered exile abroad and have their names deleted from a UN sanctions blacklist as part of a peace plan for Afghanistan to be unveiled in London next week. According to The Telegraph, a briefing paper on the Afghan government's proposals says any peace deal may include "potential exile in a third country" for insurgent leaders.

The document does not name any country, but Saudi Arabia, which recognised the former Taliban regime, is believed to be a possible candidate to give leaders a new life. Afghan ministers and the international community in Kabul endorsed the plan on Tuesday.

It envisages a twin-track strategy aiming separately at foot soldiers and the leadership.

After eight years of intensifying fighting NATO commanders have acknowledged political negotiation is the only solution to the worsening fighting.

They are now backing a "carrot and stick" strategy of more troops to reverse the Taliban's military momentum coupled with incentives for fighters to rejoin society.

The plan will be unveiled to the London conference on January 28 by President Karzai and his adviser Mohammad Masoom Stanakzai. (ANI)

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