U.N LIFTED SANCTIONS ON FORMER TALIBAN LEADERS
The United Nations has removed, on Wednesday 01/27/2010, five former Afghan Taliban officials from its sanctions list which was imposed because of alleged links to Al Qaeda. The UN said the five would no longer be subject to international travel bans and a freeze on their assets.
The five men are former members of the Taliban government, and were put on the UN blacklist in 2001. They were not active insurgents and there had already been debate within the UN sanctions committee on whether to remove them from the list.
The men include Abdul Wakil Mutawakil (pic), who was a foreign minister when the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan. .
The others are:.
Faiz Mohammad Faizan, a former deputy commerce minister ,
Shams-us-Safa, a former foreign ministry official .
Mohammad Musa, a deputy planning minister .
Abdul Hakim, a former deputy frontier affairs minister. .
Abdul Wakil Mutawakil said the move was a good start but did not go far enough. “I consider it as restoration of my human rights,” the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press quoted him as saying. “The UN should have removed a noticeable number of the Taliban names from the blacklist so a positive step would be taken to end [the] war in Afghanistan.” he added.
There are more than 140 names of suspected Taliban members with alleged links to Al Qaeda on the UN sanctions list.
Support has been growing for the notion of reconciliation with elements of the Taliban. President Karzai is hoping to gain backing at the London conference for a plan to offer low- and medium-level Taliban fighters money, jobs and support to lay down their weapons (see also – Afghan Reconciliation).
Other nations in the NATO-led coalition have contributed about 30,000 troops to provide what the NATO-ISAF commander, US General Stanley McChrystal, calls “time and space” to build up the Afghan security forces. .
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