The Taliban has rejected Hamid Karzai’s latest call for peace, branding the Afghan President a “puppet” who is “bogged down in corruption.”
Reports that secret talks on national reconciliation had already been held sparked hopes that Karzai’s new appeal in parliament might lead to a breakthrough. But his chief political rival says even a change in the military balance of power won’t soften the resolve of the most hardened militants.
“The Taliban are not ready to enter talks,” said opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah. “They think that they have the upper hand militarily. And also, it is against their ideology, against their core existence to enter talks or to envisage to be part of a democratic system.”
NATO has hit pockets of stiff resistance in its current onslaught on Taliban strongholds. But the insurgents remain defiant, digging in for a fight to the death.