Kabul, Nov 26 (ANI): Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's chief of staff Mohammad Umer Daudzai has alleged that British authorities were responsible for bringing a Taliban imposter into the presidential palace.
The British brought a man purporting to be Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a senior Taliban leader, to meet Karzai in July and August, but a man who had known Mansour years ago told Afghan officials that the man at the table did not resemble him, the Washington Post quoted Daudzai as saying.
Afghan intelligence later found the visitor was actually a shopkeeper from Quetta, Pakistan.
"This shows that this process should be Afghan-led and fully Afghanized. The last lesson we draw from this: International partners should not get excited so quickly with those kind of things. . . . Afghans know this business, how to handle it. We handle it with care, we handle it with a result-based approach, with very less damage to all the other processes," Daudzai added.
He further revealed that about six to eight months back, Afghan authorities had contacted a man claiming to be Mansour's representative so that he could arrange peace talks.
The man said that Mansour wanted a timeline for foreign troop withdrawal and a constitutional change to incorporate Islamic law.
However when Karzai refused to meet Mansour's associate "because he was unknown, very junior," British took over and used that contact to arrange for Mansour to visit Kabul, he said.
U.S. officials have long felt that the British have been more aggressive than Americans in figuring out ways for a political settlement to end the war. (ANI)