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Afghan policement poisoned, shot 9 colleagues

An Afghan policeman poisoned and then shot dead nine of his colleagues while they were sleeping early Friday in the eastern province of Paktika, police and provincial government officials said. It was the latest in a series of shootings by Afghan security personnel of their local and foreign colleagues, deaths…

Taliban offers online Islamic advice service

Worried about whether Islamic verses on Facebook are allowed? Or that suicide bombers kill innocent civilians? Afghanistan’s Taliban have set up a new question-and-answer section on their website to address such issues. The facility on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the Taliban’s…

Think-tank foresees another Afghan civil war as West leaves

KABUL — The West wants to pull out of Afghanistan “with or without a settlement” and attempts to negotiate with the Taliban are unlikely to lead to lasting peace, a report by a respected think-tank said Monday. In a hard-hitting document the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) condemned “desperate and…

Clinton vows no Afghan peace without women’s rights

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday never to accept a peace agreement in Afghanistan that rolls back women’s rights, despite reaching out to the Taliban for talks. The United States is seeking a political settlement that would allow NATO forces to leave by the end of…

Indian guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar wants the Taliban to de-stress

An Indian Hindu guru may be the last emissary the Taliban expect, but Sri Sri Ravi Shankar would love to teach inner peace to the world’s most notorious Islamist insurgents. Visiting Pakistan for the first time in eight years, he basks in the diplomatic rapprochement that made the trip possible…

No U.S. decision on Guantanamo inmates transfer to Qatar

The United States has not yet made a decision on whether to transfer five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo to Qatar, aPentagon spokesman said Saturday. The decision had not been made but the US goal of “closing thedetention facility at Guantanamo is well established,” spokesmanTodd Breasseale told AFP. “Any decision to transfer a detainee from Guantanamo would be undertaken…

Karzai under fire on Afghan women’s rights

KABUL — President Hamid Karzai’s US-backed government is under fire this International Women’s Day, accused of selling out on Afghan women’s rights as it tries to woo the Taliban into peace talks. Lawmakers, rights organisations and analysts say that the Afghan leader, by endorsing an edict calling women second-class citizens,…

Karzai invites Taliban leaders for direct talks

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday invited the Taliban for direct talks with his government, while urging Pakistan to facilitate negotiation efforts towards ending Afghanistan’s decade-long war. “In order to realise the objectives of the peace process, I invite the leadership of the Taliban to engage in direct…

McCain warns against U.S. weakness in Taliban talks

WASHINGTON — Top US Senator John McCain warned the United States on Sunday against negotiating with the Taliban from a position of weakness due to the looming troop pullout in Afghanistan. The White House confirmed on Thursday that the United States was taking part in an Afghan-led reconciliation process, after…

Saudi official renews call for Taliban to renounce Al-Qaeda

A senior Saudi official on Saturday called on the Taliban to lay down their arms and renounce Al-Qaeda as preconditions for Saudi-mediated peace talks with the Afghan government. “Saudi Arabia’s conditions for mediation … are that the Taliban lay down their weapons, engage in the political process and renounce Al-Qaeda,”…

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