Taliban has reached out to Afghan Government for reconciliation: Gen Petraeus

New York, Sep 28 (ANI): To starting reconciliation discussions that could pave the way to end the fighting in Afghanistan, the high level leadership of Taliban has reached out to senior Afghan Government officials, according to top US commander operating in Afghanistan.

For months, efforts at reconciliation have been stalled at every level, and this is the first explicit public suggestion that there is extensive behind the scenes contact between insurgents and the Afghan Government.

General David H. Petraeus said the Taliban were making efforts to establish contact with senior members of the Afghan Government.

"There are very high-level Taliban leaders who have sought to reach out to the highest levels of the Afghan government and, indeed, have done that," The New York Times quoted General Petraeus, as saying.

The conditions of President Hamid Karzai "are very clear, very established, and, certainly, we support them as we did in Iraq, as the UK did in Northern Ireland; this is how you end these kinds of insurgencies," General Petraeus said, referring to the conditions among others that the Taliban respect the country's Constitution and lay down arms.

American support for the process is in part a recognition that "Oh, by the way, you are not going to kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency," General Petraeus said, underscoring the scale of Taliban activity.

The talks are continuous, according to people knowledgeable about them, the paper reports. (ANI)

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