Karzai seeks negotiations with Taliban

Observing that deployment of more foreign troops is not a solution to rid his country of extremists, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed to the West to develop a new strategy for the war-ravaged nation, including talks with the Taliban, even their top leader Mullah Omar. "Military operations are no longer enough," Karzai told 'The Sunday Times' as the offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan continued to claim the lives of British and other coalition soldiers.

"We have to rethink the way we do things - without that there won't be any improvement. I don't think the increase in troops will address the problem. We need to concentrate on finding other avenues of defeating terrorism and seeking peace," the Afghan President said. Favouring negotiations with the extremists, he said the Taliban, who are willing to return, should be brought back to the society.

"We must engage in negotiations, bring back those Taliban who are willing to return, who have been driven out by fear and coercion and the mistakes we've all made. They are part of this country and must be called back. "If Mullah Omar wants to come and talk, he's welcome it's the desire we have and we should try for it. Without sincere peace process on all sides, matters will only get worse," Karzai said.

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