Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taliban negotiator under house arrest in UAE, says Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - A leading Taliban peace negotiator has been placed under house arrest in the United Arab Emirates, officials said on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Hamid Karzai's efforts to jump-start a nascent Afghan peace process before leaving office. -- Agha Jan Mutassim, a finance minister during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, has been missing for over a week, according to the Afghan government, disappearing after arranging a meeting in Dubai between Afghan and Taliban officials in February. -- "Mutassim ... one of the key Taliban leaders and who supported Afghan peace initiative, was put under house arrest in the UAE where he lived," the Afghan High Peace Council, a body formed by Karzai to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, said on Thursday. -- "The Afghan government has made requests to the UAE authorities to lift all the restrictions," it said in a statement. -- A Western security source in Kabul confirmed Mutassim had been put under house arrest, and that the UAE was considering deporting him to Afghanistan. -- It was not immediately clear why Mutassim was confined to his home, or who was behind his arrest. -- Authorities in the UAE declined to comment. - More, Hamid Shalizi, at:


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