South Asia News
Afghan groups criticize Taliban fund
Jan 28, 2010, 13:08 GMT
London - An international fund aimed at reintegrating former Taliban fighters was condemned as being 'destined to fail' by women's rights groups and civil activists on the fringes of a conference on Afghanistan in London Thursday.
'We strongly urge the international community to oppose the funding of any programme that offers further support of terrorism and the Taliban,' a statement distributed at the conference said.
No country or organization had the right to appoint 'criminals' or those who violated women's and men's rights to governing bodies, it said in a reference to the plans to offer moderate ex-fighters a role in a future government.
'We cannot support such a plan, destined to fail, which will bring about insecurity in Afghanistan,' it added.
However, the organizations said they nonetheless supported those who, 'due to diverse problems, were allied with the Taliban, and we encourage them to leave their ranks.'
There was no difference between Taliban leaders and the 'nightmare al-Qaeda organization,' said the statement.
'We urge the Afghan government and world powers to not let Afghanistan once again be plunged back to the pre-2001 era,' when the Taliban was in power.
Janan Mosazai, spokesman for the grouping Afghan Civil Society Activists, said the London discussions would not lead to a solution of Afghanistan's problems in the long term.
He said the partners embraced by the Afghan government and western powers did not 'represent the will of the people of Afghanistan' and failed to realize that the West's strategic interests in the region should go beyond 'fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda.'
Secondly, the problems of Afghanistan required a much broader political settlement that involved the government, the Taliban, the people and the West. Such a settlement should be mediated by outside forces, such as the United Nations and Islamic countries, said Mosazai.