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

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.