Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
The debate about whether the United States should open talks with Afghan insurgents appears to be gathering momentum -- so much so that it is beginning to acquire an air of inevitability, without there ever being a specific policy announcement.
The U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, became the latest to call for talks when he told France's Le Monde newspaper that reconciliation was an essential element. "But it is important to talk to the people who count," he said. "A fragmented approach to the insurgency will not work. You need to be ambitious and include all the Taliban movement."
His remarks follow much more guarded comments by President Barack Obama who said in an interview with the New York Times that Washington might look for "comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region" as it did in Iraq, involving "reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us."
Vice President Joe Biden has also said that U.S. assessments were that only five percent of the Taliban were "incorrigible". He told a news conference in Brussels that whatever happened would have to be initiated by the Afghan government. "But I do think it is worth engaging and determining whether or not there are those who are willing to participate in a secure and stable Afghan state."