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Taliban Mull Political Movement: Mutasim

Mullah Agha Jan Motasim

KABUL – As NATO-led troops prepare to exit Afghanistan by the end of next year, the Taliban are weighing the option of a political settlement of the conflict in the war-weary country, a senior leader of the movement has said.

Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, former head of the Taliban Political Commission, told a Pakistani newspaper on Monday: “We must launch a political movement to achieve the goals for which we have made so many sacrifices.”

The Express Tribune quoted Mutasim, a close aide to the movement’s supreme leader Mullah Omar, as saying the Taliban leaders who had been removed from the UN blacklist would play a key part in the political process.

Although Taliban’s spokesmen have repeatedly ruled out peace negotiations with the government of President Hamid Karzai, Mutasim said: “We are waiting for conducive conditions to make a formal announcement” about the launch of the political party.

The ex-minister voiced his worries about another bout of civil war in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the foreign troops, saying: “This concern deepens when one considers possible interventions [in Afghanistan] by greedy neighbours and other regional powers.” (PAN

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