Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Taliban ask the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for help?

Xinhua news reports are a distinctive news source and sometimes they have surprising things to report. Here is an article about a request by "the Taliban" -- we would assume only one of the several groups by that name -- to the Shanghai Cooperation organization -- which includes China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrghizstan, and Tajikistan -- to help end the war in Afghanistan. If such a request was made, that would be a remarkable step. We wonder who the "Taliban" are. Whoever they are, whichever group, they are savvy enough about the wider world of interested parties to seek their help in working out a solution to the war in Afghanistan. Here is the report.

Taliban seeks SCO support in solving Afghan crisis

KABUL, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Taliban outfit, in a political move, tried to seek support from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in ending the prolonged war in Afghanistan, a letter sent to the address of the body late Wednesday said.

In the open letter, it described the presence of international troops in Afghanistan as the occupation of the post-Taliban country and called on SCO to adopt a tough stance in this regard.

"We call on Shanghai Cooperation Organization to assist countries in the region against colonialists and adopt a strong stance against the occupation of Afghanistan," according to the letter readout to media from undisclosed location.

It also said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (name of ousted Taliban regime) would establish friendly relations with allthe neighboring states after the expulsion of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

In the letter, the Taliban outfit asked the SCO "not to trust the propaganda of the colonial powers as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would not damage any country and would rather open the door for strengthening peace, stability and economic cooperation in the region."

Written in Pashtu -- one of the two official languages of Afghanistan and spoken by the majority of Taliban militants -- the letter also accused the international troops of killing Afghans, adding that "both NATO and U.S. forces in the excuse of fighting terrorists have been killing the people of Afghanistan."

Taliban militants whose regime was ousted by the U.S.-led coalition forces eight years ago have intensified their activities over the past couple of years, forcing NATO and Afghan government to seek negotiating settlement for ensuring durable peace in the war-torn country.

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