World Bulletin / News Desk
Some Taliban figures are ready to negotiate a comprehensive peace deal involving a long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, but will not accept Hamid Karzai's government, the Guardian reported on Monday.
"The Taliban would be open to negotiating a ceasefire as part of a general settlement, and also as a bridge between confidence-building measures and the core issue of the distribution of political power in Afghanistan," the British newspaper Guardian quoted the report as saying citing a report to be published by the Royal United Services Institute.
RUSI said its report, entitled "Taliban Perspectives on Reconciliation", was based on interviews with four unnamed Taliban figures, two of whom were ministers in the former Taliban government and are still close to the inner circle of leadership.
One interviewee, described as a founder member of the Taliban, said the group might accept continuing "U.S. counter-terrorist operations" targeting al-Qaida as long as the bases for them were not used as a launching pad for attacks on other countries or for interference in Afghan politics.
The report said that from the Taliban's point of view, any ceasefire would need strong Islamic justification and could not hint at any form of surrender.
The Taliban has long been opposed to negotiating with Karzai's government and does not recognise Afghanistan's constitution approved in 2003.
The poll comes as Australia attempts to rebalance its economy away from a once-in-a-generation mining boom stymied by tumbling commodities prices.
More than 840 others injured after extreme weather conditions battered eastern city of Yangcheng
Driver detained after bus carrying 56 people bursts into flames after crashing into guardrails of highway in central Hunan
Philippine army says 7 sailors abducted earlier this week handed over by kidnap-for-ransom gang to ISIL-linked militants
Blast damages several roadside vending stalls, shatters windows of nearby buildings including a school
Jailed opposition leader says parties must end internal disputes if they are to offer strong alternative to ruling alliance
North Sumatran capital of Medan teaches blind students love of Islamic holy book through braille
The Chinese government has announced it halted a communication channel with Taiwan due to the self-ruled island's refusal to recognise recognise "one China" principle with tensions rising between the two governments.
An increased amount of police has been deployed to majority Buddhist town after mob destroys mosque, religious school and Muslim cemetery
The Shangri La dialogue at the beginning of the month showed a US push towards creating a second Asian flavoured NATO
Mobs of people have burnt down a mosque and looted shops in apparent reprisal for an attack on three Zimbabweans on Tuesday, which left one man dead, while a second man died in hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Former deputy premier and ex-state chief had shared opposition stage to condemn PM and government
Says her new government 'understands we have to create an environment where our people want to return'
Sam Rainsy in self-imposed exile in US after warrant for his arrest issued stemming from years-old defamation case
US President Barack Obama said Mansour was targeted because he was an obstacle to the peace process
Indonesian FM confirms nationals kidnapped by gunmen in latest hijacking of foreign crew in Sulu Sea