January 28th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Karzai: We must reach out to 'our disenchanted brothers'

Update: 1:37 p.m. ET: At the conclusion of the one-day meeting, participants in the talks issued a communique expressing their approval of the plan that Afghan President Hamid Karzai introduced earlier in the day. Major international donors were asked to pledge money for the effort, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced after the meeting that Japan has offered $50 million toward the plan. She said the U.S. military in Afghanistan also had funds at its disposal to use to support the program.

London, England - Afghan President Hamid Karzai pitched a plan for integrating Taliban fighters into mainstream Afghan society Thursday, as world powers gathered to find ways to strengthen the Afghan government in the face of a persistent Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency.

"We must reach out to all our countrymen, especially our disenchanted brothers who are not part of al Qaeda or other terrorist networks," Karzai told the participants at the London Conference on Afghanistan - a meeting of more than 60 countries and organizations looking for ways to steer the country away from the grasp of militants.

A central focus of the summit is a $500 million pay-for-peace proposal to bring Taliban fighters into the civilian fold if they promise to renounce violence. The money would create jobs and housing in an effort to moderate the Taliban fighters, helping them return to civilian life. Major international donors are expected to pledge money for the effort.

Karzai also said he would establish a national council for peace reconciliation and integration, followed by a "peace jirga" - a traditional gathering of Afghan tribal leaders - and said he hoped Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah would play a "prominent role."

Read more about the conference

Related: Your view: Negotiating with the Taliban?

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. jen

    They'd probably say and do anything for money. Even turn in innocent civilians for reward money like they did under the Bush Adm...
    Money will Enable the taliban more to buy guns and members. It's the power they want. They need money to have that.

    Giving them bribe money is retarded.
    These people have been fighting forever..this is ALL they know to do..Money will make fighting easier for them.

    January 29, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. wevern345

    As long as we pay them many will leave the Taliban. Build houses and medical clinics, a few roads, and pay them monthly. If the Taliban take over in any area they stop getting paid. We could spend 500 million a year for 50 years and still save money. But give the money directly to the tribal leaders not the Afghan government.

    January 28, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. R. Powell

    i think we just need to go over there and nuke the damn place no if ands or buts

    January 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American Delight

    Well said, Abdulameer–the reintegration plan is based on faulty assumptions about the Taliban's motivations.

    Although A. Smith sounds opposed to the plan to, his/her comments are over-critical of Hamid Karzai. People sneered at Pres. Diem of South Vietnam, but look how things went there after Diem was deposed. Not well. If you get rid of Karzai because you don't like corruption, you'll be left we something worse.

    January 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A. Smith, Oregon

    President Karzi is simply attempting to hold on to his position AFTER America pulls it's troops out of Afghanistan next year. He is announcing to the world, the moment America leaves, he'll pledge his allegiance to the Taliban in hope's they'll spare his life and allow him to continue his corrupt ruler-ship.

    NO WAY, and NO CHANCE are the Taliban going to actually let Karzi remain breathing in Afghanistan when America pulls its troops out, much less let him continue as President of Afghanistan. He must be smoking some of the Opium his brother is alleged to be exporting overseas in mass amounts. President Karzi, read my lips, 'President Obama is not a puppet of the CIA as former president Bush Sr. and Bush jr. was and is going to pull the plug on your corrupt circus act'.

    January 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nicman

    you cannot pay these afghans to cahnge their religion. the opium money fetches them nmorre than that amd more over let s see how they destroyed the voting system. Demcracy is amockery in their country. for once they do not come here to disturb our peace lets leave them in peace. The people themselves do not trust the government how much more the international community.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Abdulameer

    "A central focus of the summit is a $500 million pay-for-peace proposal to bring Taliban fighters into the civilian fold if they promise to renounce violence."
    Sure sounds like a massive bribe to me! It is predicated on the false assumption that the cause of Taliban violence is poverty, not ideology. But, the essence of the Taliban is precisely Islam, pure and unadulterated. Poverty is not the cause, and money is not the cure. Of course, there will be Taliban fighters who will take the money and, perhaps, stop killing people - as long as they continue to get money. But, they will not have changed their Islamic ideology. They will still want to implement Sharia law because that is what they believe in. Why in the world should we be paying for that?

    January 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |