Probably the only way out

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Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton was one time derided by political opponents for suggesting the struggle toward peace in Afghanistan should include talks with the Taliban. It’s looking more and more as if relations with that large force in the war-torn Asian country will ultimately be the reality.

The Afghan-Canadian governor of Kandahar province said Monday in an interview with The Canadian Press that it would take time and a great effort. Tooryalai Wesa, born in Kandahar and a one-time resident of Coquitlam, B.C., added that bringing the factions together would require patience from the international community involved in the struggle.

Wesa’s comments come as President Hamid Karzai begins four days of meetings in Washington in a bid to build political support for possible peace talks with the Taliban.

Such negotiations might not be the best of all possible worlds approach the NATO allies originally envisioned in bringing improvements to the country. But as the western forces, including Canada and the U.S., look for an end to their involvement in the conflict, it’s a reality they will have to face.

The Taliban have shown no intention of giving up, continuing insurgent attacks in their native southern province and in other parts of the country to drive out foreigners.

The struggle continues, and it’s not just against this one determined group.

Afghanistan’s insurgency includes the Taliban in the south, Hizb-i-Islami throughout most of the country and the Haqqani network, which operates primarily in the east and has deep ties to al-Qaida. And it’s that connection that started this whole mess in the first place.

The Haqqani network is considered the most radical and has been responsible for training insurgents in deadlier ambush tactics, including bigger roadside bombs.

Considering that, talks with the Taliban starts sounding a lot more reasonable, and even the lesser of two or three evils.



Organizations: Taliban, Canadian Press, NATO Al-Qaida

Geographic location: Afghanistan, Kandahar, Coquitlam Washington Canada U.S.

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