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US for multiple contacts with Taliban

Publication Date : 09-08-2012


US officials emphasised the need of pursuing “multiple channels and contacts” for reconciliation with the militants as media reports claimed the Obama administration was ready to release senior Taliban leaders in exchange for an American prisoner of war.

A US State Department official, when asked to comment on the report, pointed out that the White House had already declined to comment on the report.

But she also referred to a recent joint statement by the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which outlined their position on seeking reconciliation with the Taliban militants.

The document says that to “build further momentum” in the reconciliation process, the three allies “reaffirmed the importance of pursuing multiple channels and contacts with the armed opposition”.

An earlier story by Reuters said the US had offered to move five Taliban figures from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Qatar in exchange for a US prisoner of war.

The Americans believe that the Taliban militants are holding Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl somewhere in north-western Pakistan. Sgt Bergdahl, now 26, disappeared from his base camp in Afghanistan in June 2009.


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