Musharraf pulls out of Afghan talks

Domestic issues attributed to president's absence from 'peace jirga' in Kabul.

    About 700 people had been expected
    to attend the Kabul conference [AFP]

    However, the leaders of two of Pakistan's seven tribal regions, North and South Waziristan, have already announced they will be boycotting the talks.

    Domestic issues

    Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said that diplomats believe Musharraf's decision not to attend comes from his domestic problems.

    "Diplomats will tell you that the president has other serious issues to deal with - his re-election, the political instability within Pakistan, and the ongoing deal with Benazir Bhutto. That would be the reason [for the absence] from the Pakistani side.

    "A lot of the tribal leaders said that they would not go to Kabul simply because if their own house was on fire, they did not see the point of bringing peace to Afghanistan.

    "There was a lot of scepticism about the jirga in Kabul, and now that the president has pulled out, there has been a wave of speculation about it."

    Talat Masood, a Pakistan-based defence analyst, said: "This sudden development only goes to show how things have got worse between the allies in the war on terror."

    Musharraf has been under pressure to control the tribal regions, and has been angered by accusations from Washington that his country has become a safe haven for al-Qaeda and a regrouped Taliban.

    The jirga was due to be attended by about 700 tribal representatives.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.