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Taliban Leaders

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NEWS
July 29, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
On a May visit to Kabul, President Obama said "a negotiated peace" was a key part of his plan to end the Afghan war. This wasn't surprising. U.S. military commanders have long stressed that the war with the Taliban can't be won militarily. Yet, by the time Obama spoke, a yearlong effort by U.S. officials to engage key Taliban leaders had already faltered. Interlocutors for Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar - who were set to open a first-time, political office in the Gulf state of Qatar - suspended the process in March.
NEWS
November 11, 2009 | By Trudy Rubin
The big story here, underreported so far, is the emergence of coordinated American and Afghan efforts to bring Taliban leaders and fighters in from the cold. When Afghan President Hamid Karzai is inaugurated again next week, he will call for peace and reconciliation with Afghan insurgents. Popular pressure for such efforts is strong, as I have heard in many conversations with Afghan elders and local officials. Past efforts at reconciliation have been a dismal failure. But a broad consensus has emerged that the Afghan insurgency can't be quelled by military means alone.
NEWS
February 13, 2002 | Daily News Wire Services
Following the surrender last week of the Taliban's former foreign minister, more than 15 top Taliban officials have begun negotiating with representatives of the new Afghan government to give themselves up, Afghan and U.S. officials said yesterday. Their eventual surrender could provide U.S. forces in Afghanistan with access to the upper echelons of the ousted regime that harbored Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network. "Right now we are in contact with more than 15 top Taliban," Khalid Pashtoon, a senior aide to Kandahar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai, told reporters.
NEWS
January 1, 2013 | By Zarar Khan, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan released eight members of the Afghan Taliban from prison on Monday, including the former justice minister under the Taliban, in a bid to boost the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan, the government said. Pakistan is seen as a linchpin in efforts to bring about peace in Afghanistan as foreign troops plan to depart the country in 2014. Kabul has been pressing its neighbor to release more prisoners who they hope would bring the Taliban to the negotiating table before the U.S. troops go home.
NEWS
October 15, 2010
Eight NATO service members were killed Thursday in a spate of attacks in Afghanistan, including four in roadside bombings, bringing the alliance's troop losses over the last two days to 14, officials said. It has been the deadliest year for international forces in the nine-year Afghan conflict. Troop numbers have been ramped up to turn the screws on insurgents, and casualties have mounted. A homemade bomb in western Afghanistan killed three service members Thursday, an alliance statement said without giving the nationalities of the dead or the specific location of the attack.
NEWS
June 3, 2010 | By Dion Nissenbaum and Hashim Shukoor, McClatchy Newspapers
KABUL, Afghanistan - Standing before power brokers and tribal elite Wednesday morning, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was about 10 minutes into a nationally televised appeal for reconciliation with the Taliban when the insurgents responded with a rocket that slammed into a nearby hillside. "Don't worry," Karzai coolly told the gathering before the attack escalated. "We've heard these kinds of things before. " Assailants with suicide vests, rockets, and machine guns then tried unsuccessfully to breach defenses set up for the cavernous meeting tent at Kabul's Polytechnic University campus, where a national peace "jirga," or assembly, was called by Karzai.
NEWS
October 13, 2001 | Daily News Wire Services
American warplanes resumed attacks in Afghanistan today with eight powerful explosions heard in the capital of Kabul. After calling a brief halt to attacks in deference to the Muslim day of prayer yesterday, warplanes resumed attacks early today. At least one bomb dropped on the already heavily damaged airport, witnesses said. "I saw a fireball, debris flying up into the sky and the initial big fire, then dimming," one witness said. The Taliban government, which has given refuge to Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2001 | New York Daily News
A few weeks ago, the Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly branded Geraldo Rivera a liberal sympathizer. Monday, O'Reilly gave Rivera a passing grade for his coverage from Afghanistan. "I think he's doing all right," O'Reilly said. Rivera recently gave up his prime-time CNBC talk show - and a couple of million dollars - to go cover the war in Afghanistan for the Fox News Channel. For Rivera, a controversial personality, that meant joining a network that appeals to conservative-leaning viewers.
NEWS
May 15, 2011 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Will the killing of Osama bin Laden really be "a game-changer" in the Afghan war? Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it may be. And this is the big question I'll be exploring on a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, starting this weekend. Will bin Laden's demise speed the U.S. troop exit? My gut tells me it will make a difference, but not as big as Congress and a war-weary public would like. The state of play in Afghanistan was already shifting before the Navy SEALs found bin Laden.
NEWS
November 23, 2001 | By Drew Brown, James Kuhnhenn and Andrew Maykuth INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
With U.S. warplanes circling overhead, Northern Alliance forces shelled Taliban positions and exchanged machine-gun fire yesterday in a determined effort to flush the fundamentalist fighters from their northern Afghanistan enclave of Kunduz. Hundreds of Taliban troops who had been cornered in or around the besieged city defected shortly after the shelling began. Northern Alliance commanders, meanwhile, issued conflicting reports about the status of surrender negotiations. The mixed messages from commanders and tensions among alliance troops in the battlefield illustrated ever-widening divisions within the anti-Taliban forces, which consist of loosely allied but competing groups.
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NEWS
July 19, 2013 | By Rasool Dawar, Associated Press
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A prominent Pakistani Taliban commander has written a letter to a teenage girl shot in the head by the group, expressing regrets that he didn't warn her before the assassination attempt that propelled her activism to the international stage. The letter from Adnan Rasheed, however, didn't apologize for the October attack that left Malala Yousafzai gravely wounded. Rasheed, who has close relations with Taliban leaders, only said that he found the shooting "shocking" and wished it hadn't happened.
NEWS
July 5, 2013 | By David Rising, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - International donors reaffirmed pledges of $16 billion in support for Afghanistan on Wednesday, while expressing concern about corruption there. Representatives from about 40 countries and eight aid agencies announced the confirmation of commitments made in Tokyo last year to provide the economic assistance to Afghanistan through 2015 after meeting with Afghan officials. But U.N. deputy special representative for Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, told reporters that the donor nations had also emphasized the need to curb corruption.
NEWS
April 5, 2013 | By Patrick Quinn, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan accused Pakistan on Thursday of placing unacceptable conditions on efforts to bring peace to the country after nearly 12 years of war, the latest in a series of barbed exchanges that have sunk relations between the two neighbors to a new low. A breakdown in ties threatens to hinder - or even paralyze - attempts to lure the Taliban to the negotiating table. That's a key goal of the United States and its allies as they work for a peaceful solution in Afghanistan ahead of the final pullout of foreign combat forces in 20 months.
NEWS
January 1, 2013 | By Zarar Khan, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan released eight members of the Afghan Taliban from prison on Monday, including the former justice minister under the Taliban, in a bid to boost the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan, the government said. Pakistan is seen as a linchpin in efforts to bring about peace in Afghanistan as foreign troops plan to depart the country in 2014. Kabul has been pressing its neighbor to release more prisoners who they hope would bring the Taliban to the negotiating table before the U.S. troops go home.
NEWS
October 28, 2012 | By Sebastian Abbot and Heidi Vogt, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan has increased efforts to reach out to some of its biggest enemies in Afghanistan, a significant policy shift that could prove crucial to U.S.-backed efforts to strike a peace deal in the neighboring country. The target of the diplomatic push has mainly been non-Pashtun political leaders who have been at odds with Pakistan for years because of the country's historical support for the Afghan Taliban, a Pashtun movement. Many of the leaders fought against the Taliban when the fundamentalist Islamic group seized control of Afghanistan in the 1990s with Pakistan's help, and have accused Islamabad of maintaining support for the insurgents after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 - allegations denied by the government.
NEWS
September 23, 2012 | By Anne Gearan, Washington Post
The United States and Pakistan are planning a joint effort to draw the Taliban toward peace talks in Afghanistan, an initiative that could help reconcile some militants and give Pakistan a say in the political future of its larger neighbor. A joint commission, or "action group," would help vet candidates for political rehabilitation, with a goal of helping Afghanistan frame a workable peace deal after U.S. and foreign forces leave. Officials familiar with the previously undisclosed plan described it on condition of anonymity because it is not final and because some aspects of U.S. outreach to the Taliban are classified.
NEWS
July 29, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
On a May visit to Kabul, President Obama said "a negotiated peace" was a key part of his plan to end the Afghan war. This wasn't surprising. U.S. military commanders have long stressed that the war with the Taliban can't be won militarily. Yet, by the time Obama spoke, a yearlong effort by U.S. officials to engage key Taliban leaders had already faltered. Interlocutors for Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar - who were set to open a first-time, political office in the Gulf state of Qatar - suspended the process in March.
NEWS
July 13, 2012 | By Laura King and Aimal Yaqubi, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai had a suggestion Thursday for Mullah Mohammed Omar, the fugitive leader of Afghanistan's Taliban movement: Run for president if you want. The Afghan leader, speaking at a news conference, urged the Taliban chief to embark on negotiations with his government and take part in the political process. He said Omar and his "comrades" could set up a political party and that Omar could become a candidate for office if he wished. "If people vote for him, he can take the leadership," Karzai declared.
NEWS
January 8, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
The events of 2011 - featuring Arab upheavals that no one expected - should serve as a warning against New Year's predictions. But given our unsettled times, which offer unending grist for a foreign-affairs columnist, I can certainly list the stories I'll be watching in 2012. The struggle for human dignity, in the Mideast and elsewhere. The outcome of the Arab revolts remains unknown, with bloodshed ongoing and few signs that democracy is budding. Yet underlying the 2011 protests was a deep yearning for dignity by populations that had previously accepted authoritarian rule.
NEWS
October 2, 2011 | By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai has given up trying to talk to the Taliban, saying in a video released Saturday that Pakistan holds the only key to making peace with insurgents and must do more to support a political resolution to the war. Karzai revealed his tougher stance against Pakistan, which he claims is harboring militants, on the same day that the Afghan intelligence service said it has hard evidence that the assassination of...
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