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Afghanistan Nominates New Ambassador to the United States

News Central Asia

It has been learnt from reliable sources that Said Tayab Jawad, currently chief of staff to President Hamid Karzai, has been nominated as the new Afghan ambassador to the United States. Related developments indicate that the USA may be conducting behind-the-curtain negotiations with some Taliban factions.

Jawad, a lawyer by profession, is serving as chief of staff and spokesman for Hamid Karzai since May 2002.

An ethnic Pashtun from Kandahar - the stronghold of Taliban - Jawad left Afghanistan in 1980 after soviet invasion and settled down in the United States where he worked as a lawyer.

Besides Pashtu, that is his mother tongue, Jawad is proficient in English, German, French and Dari/Farsi languages.

His appointment as Afghan ambassador to the United States coincides with White House decision to send Zalmay Khalilzad as US ambassador to Afghanistan. Khalilzad is said to be a part of the policymaking circles in the Bush administration. He is a close associate of Perle and Wolfowitz.

Is’haq Shahryar, present Afghan envoy to Washington, is reportedly going back to his business. He runs a successful engineering firm that markets solar systems and solutions.

Both countries have decided to replace their present ambassadors at a time when the law and order situation in Afghanistan is worsening because of infighting of warlords and clandestine attacks of dissidents.

In the backdrop of this scenario, another significant development a few days ago was that Mulla Wakil Ahmed Mutawakkil, Afghan foreign minister during Taliban regime, was released after 20 months of captivity at Bagram air base.

Mutawakkil has the reputation of a moderate religious scholar and it was rumoured that immediately after the start of US-led war in Afghanistan, he tried to form a breakaway faction of Taliban to establish a moderate government in Kabul but American authorities arrested him when he appeared for negotiations.

His release at this stage signals that American occupying forces, after facing stiff resistance in southern and eastern Afghanistan, may be contemplating some kind of compromise with ‘acceptable’ Taliban.

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