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Five Taliban Members Taken Off UN Sanctions List

PTI 27 Jan 2010, 12:42:43 PM IST

United Nations has removed five top Taliban commanders including former foreign minister Abdul Wakil Mutawakil from its sanctions list, to pave the way for a reconciliation effort with the moderate militants in the outfit.

Besides Mutawakil, four other Taliban commanders removed from the list of individuals subjected to sanctions imposed over their links to al Qaeda are Abdul Hakim, former deputy foreign affairs minister, Faiz Mohammad Faizan, former deputy commerce minister, Shams-us-Safa, a former official under the Taliban and Mohammad Musa.

The move comes ahead of a major international conference opening in London today to chalk out new measures for a reconciliation in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has also called for removing some of the Taliban names from the UN list, which was established under the resolution 1267 adopted in 1999.

Under the sanctions, these leaders were under travel ban, assets freeze and arms embargo. The UN said in a statement that Hakim rejected the Taliban three years ago. 

A UN statement said Hakim broke with the Taliban in May 2007, while Mohammad Musa has been a lawmaker from Wardak province since May 2007.

Diplomatic sources described the five Taliban commanders as "moderate Taliban leaders" with whom the Afghan Government could start a dialogue process.

A UN Security Council Sanctions Panel includes over 500 individuals out of 142 are from Taliban.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai won the regional backing of Turkey, Pakistan as well leaders from China, Russia and Iran at a conference in Istanbul to go ahead with steps to bring back Taliban into the mainstream. PTI