Karzai urges inclusive dialogue, not force, with Taliban for policy improvements

Photo: Reuters.

Former President Hamid Karzai says the international community should not forcibly remove the Taliban from power but it should encourage inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue to bring about policy improvements, as reported by Japan’s Kyodo News.

Speaking to Kyodo News, Karzai, who was the country’s leader from 2002 to 2014, emphasized the importance of foreign nations supporting a diplomatic approach.

He stated that resuming girls’ education could be a crucial step toward the Taliban gaining “legitimate” and “recognized” status globally.

The Taliban’s oppressive treatment of women and minorities has led to its lack of international recognition.

Female students are restricted from continuing education beyond the sixth grade, and female employment is effectively prohibited.

While pushing for immediate measures to allow women and girls back to school, Karzai stressed that forcibly removing the Taliban from power is not a viable solution.

“We don’t want conflict in this country anymore. Conflict will make things even worse than they are today,” Karzai stated in an interview at his residence in central Kabul. “We want improvements in policy. We want all Afghans getting together to build the future.”

Although Karzai insists on immediate actions for women’s education, he calls for intra-Afghan talks involving all ethnic groups, some of whom are still fighting against the Taliban, to begin “as soon as possible.”

He did not provide a specific timeline for the negotiations.

Acknowledging that the Taliban recognizes the necessity of talks, Karzai highlighted that time and preparation are required before the process can commence.

Last week, the Taliban opposed recommendations from a UN-mandated assessment regarding the appointment of a United Nations special envoy and the initiation of a dialogue process among Afghans.