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

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.