Tags: taliban afghan elections

Taliban Eyes Role in Afghan Politics

Tuesday, 14 September 2010 11:42 AM

KABUL - Although Taliban leaders have denounced Afghanistan's parliamentary elections and threatened violence at the polls on Saturday, some are discreetly making overtures to candidates, The Washington Post reports, apparently in hopes of building political clout in Kabul, according to the top United Nations envoy here and some Afghan politicians.

"Any indication that they're moving from bullets to ballots, as imperfect as it might be, is a good indicator," said Staffan de Mistura, who previously was the top U.N. representative in Iraq and took over here in March.

Speaking in an interview at his Kabul office, de Mistura said insurgent leaders in Afghanistan could be trying to bolster their political standing in anticipation of a reconciliation process that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is hoping to jump-start this fall.

"That's exactly the type of thing that happened in Iraq at a certain point," de Mistura said, referring to the period after the 2007 U.S. troop buildup, when political factions with armed wings started putting more stock in deal-making than in fighting. "People started discussing, arguing, compromising, negotiating, making deals on a political level, using the political game plan rather than bombs and explosions.''In that sense, these elections could be helpful."

Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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taliban afghan elections
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 11:42 AM
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