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Negotiation with Taliban "necessary", says US official

November 22, 2008 02:26 IST

Terming reconciliation with Taliban [Images] as "necessary", a senior state department official has said that there is nothing "evil" about engaging militants in the political process if they abandon violence. "I think it's necessary, but I wouldn't necessarily call it that evil,"  US assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia, Richard Boucher said.
 
"Some of the leadership in the Taliban, if they were willing to abandon violence and accept a new constitution... if they were willing to come across, I suppose there has to be a political process to do that," he added.
 
Pointing out that Taliban leadership has not yet indicated that they are willing for a political engagement he said, "I have to say there's no sign that they really want to do that at this point. They're still on the there setting off bombs and  kidnapping people."
 
"I think it's putting up a possibility of political solution because eventually have has to be one and there can be one,"  he said on National Public Radio.
 
Commenting on the change of strategy by the Taliban the senior state department official said that, "Instead of
trying to take over the government or take over territory, they're now just trying to make people feel unsafe. And they
set off bombs and people do feel unsafe."
 
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