Afghanistan’s peace jirga ends today with President Hamid Karzai expected to win support for his plan to persuade the Taliban to lay down their arms.
Tribal leaders and other notables still differ over the details of reconciliation efforts. But they seem agreed that an opening must be made to the insurgents in the interests of national security.
Jirga delegate Haji Mohammad Leqa said the message to the militants is “we do not want war in Afghanistan.” He urged them to become allies so that foreign foreces can return home.
But the Taliban showed their contempt for the proceedings from the outset, sending a suicide squad to attack the opening on Wednesday.
While no delegates were hurt, it showed the group’s ability to strike when security is at its highest levels. It has repeatedly ruled out offers of dialogue with Karzai’s administration, saying foreign troops must leave the country first.