Pakistan Frees Former Taliban Officials to Promote Afghan Peace: Those freed from detention included Abdul Bari, former governor of southern Helmand province, ex-justice minister Nooruddin Turabi, and Mullah Daud Jan, former governor of Kabul, the foreign office said in a statement last night. U.S. forces ousted the Taliban government led by Mullah Mohammad Omar in 2001. Omar is believed is based in Pakistan. Former deputy leader and top military commander Abdul Ghani Baradar, detained in 2010 in Karachi, was not among those released.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are pursuing a new peace initiative that would permit members of the Taliban to be removed from the United Nations terrorist list to join negotiations and hold Afghan government posts. The push for talks has become more urgent as the U.S.-led international coalition prepares to pull its combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
The Afghan forces could splinter along ethnic line and prompt civil war, the nation could plunge into a deep recession, or the Kabul government — plagued with corruption and still fragile despite efforts to establish its authority — would remain too weak to hold off a Taliban takeover. Just a 45-minute drive south of Kabul, residents of Wardak province directly feel the tenuousness. The province is a battleground for Afghan and coalition forces trying to squash hotbeds of the Taliban. Residents quickly warn visitors that it’s dangerous just to go past a checkpoint less a kilometer (half-mile) outside the provincial capital, Maidan Shahr.
In Afghanistan, Businesses Plan Their Own Exits: America may be struggling to come up with a viable exit plan for Afghanistan, but Abdul Wasay Manani is sure of his. This month, Mr. Manani, 38, flew to India for 14 days to scout out a new business, and a new home, ready to leave Afghanistan and everything he worked to build here, just in case things fall apart when most Americans and other foreign troops leave in 2014. “If the Taliban come like last time, ordering people around with whips, I can’t stay here,” he said. “I have to leave this country to keep my family safe.”
Many Afghans share his concern. In this environment, troubling indicators are not hard to find. More than 30,400 Afghans applied for asylum in industrialized nations in 2011, the highest level in 10 years and four times the number seeking asylum in 2005. The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving. Piles of cash equaling about a quarter of Afghanistan’s annual economic output were physically carried out of Afghanistan last year.
I just do not get it. If those people know how bad their life is going to be under the Taliban then why do they not fight to defeat them? *Vietnam all over again regardless of what they say. They are now offering the Taliban to join in the Government.
I really do not care what they do. Our soldiers did their job. We should get them out now with heads held high for a job well done. They have performed magnificently.The Taliban are going to take over again regardless and the people know it that is why everyone who can is making preparations to get out now.