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November 1, 2001
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Egos, rivalries weigh down efforts for alternative to Taleban

Efforts to build an alternative to Afghanistan's ruling Taleban are in disarray, crippled by clashing egos and agendas, factional infighting and competing interests of foreign countries, officials involved in the efforts were on Thursday quoted as saying.

At least six processes to frame a post-Taleban government are now underway from Rome to Cyprus to Peshawar.

In several cases, the participating monarchists, current and former warlords, tribal and ethnic leaders and officials from over a dozen countries are refusing to meet with one another, insisting on their own programmes.

Any resolve to overcome the rivalries has been diminished by the apparent failure so far of US-led military operations to visibly weaken the Taleban's hold over more than 90 per cent of Afghanistan, the officials told The Washington Post.

"It is a disaster," said a Western diplomat involved in the efforts to fashion a future government. Other officials warned that the process could take months or years.

"US officials," said the Post, "have sought to accelerate the collapse of the Taleban by creating a viable government to replace the radical Islamic movement. Forming a united opposition would also guard against a power vacuum and a return to widespread civil war among factions backed by rival regional powers."

PTI

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