Enemies No More?

Taliban hard-liners have in recent weeks attacked allied and Afghan forces with growing frequency in the mountainous hinterlands of southeastern Afghanistan. But this has not dissuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai from beginning discreet talks with moderates in the Taliban ranks. The unprecedented talks, which began last week, seem to have the Bush Administration's blessing. Karzai's mediator to the Taliban is its former Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, who was released last Monday after 20 months in custody at a U.S. military base near Kabul.

Muttawakil remains close to his former captors. His family says he stays at the U.S. base...

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