Kabul, June 3 (ANI): A conciliatory Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed and implored "Dear Talibs" to lay down their weapons and make peace with his government.
Stating that reconciliation within Afghanistan is the key to ridding the country of foreign forces, Karzai said on Wednesday at a peace jirga in Kabul: "My dear Taliban, you are welcome in your own soil. Do not hurt this country, and don't destroy or kill yourselves."
"Make peace with me and there will be no need for foreigners here," he said further.For 30 years, this country has faced sadness from this foreigner and that foreigner. Whatever mistakes we have done, whatever mistakes you have done, please come to us and then we will talk, " the Globe and Mail quoted Karzai, as saying.
"The government of Afghanistan and the foreigners are obliged to allow them to return to their lands. To say sorry to them and let them go back to their houses," he added later.
Karzai's speech offered hints of how he intends to shape his message - both to the West and to the insurgency - in the crucial months ahead as he seeks to end the war.
Risking a backlash from international donors, the President suggested his own government, and to some degree, the West, have made missteps in their efforts to contain the insurgency.
On several occasions he reached out to the insurgents, urging them to return to their "homes."
The President's speech was briefly interrupted when a rocket explosion and gunfire erupted outside.
Afghan security forces later said they killed two Taliban suicide bombers and arrested a third who had sought shelter in a mosque, staving off what might have been another deadly attack in Kabul. (ANI)