An Afghan peace conference which includes 1,500 representatives from all across the nation, has called on President Karzai to initiate peace discussions with the Taliban. They want any militant who agrees to participate in the peace process to have his name cleared as long as there is cutting of any ties with terrorist groups. The Taliban did not send any representatives to the loya jirga on grounds it was a ploy of the West to destroy those who fight for Afghan’s freedom. Speaker after speaker called for negotiating with militants and ending the current civil war. As one delegate put it, “we should begin negotiations with all opposition groups, without any conditions. There were many ideas raised at the meeting ranging from protecting the rights of women to blocking immoral TV programs. There were also rumblings from delegates that allowing President Karzai to make decisions about how to conduct the meeting rather than allowing delegates to decide who is the chairman.
A few delegates also suggested engaging Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia to assist in the process of peace talks, event to the extent of using their homelands as sites for discussions. Some delegates want NATO and the US to immediately cease use of drones and air attacks since it results in the deaths of innocent civilians. A few even went so far as to call for a cease of all US and NATO operations in order to allow peace negotiations.
These ideas from delegates make more sense than another “surge.”