The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan will be top of the agenda at next month's Bonn conference on the war-torn country. President Karzai's security advisor is pessimistic about future talks with the Taliban.
Spanta thinks the Western strategy in Afghanistan is barking up the wrong tree
Recently there has been much talk of the fact that the much evoked talks with the Taliban have come to a still stand.
But the Afghan president's national security advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta says they never got off their feet in the first place: "We never saw an official, serious representative of the Taliban," he told German public radio.
He added that he had not even seen any willingness on the part of the Taliban to enter talks with the Afghan government.
International troops are supposed to withdraw in 2014
Solution lies in Pakistan
Spanta, like many others, sees the solution to Afghanistan's problems across the border in the tribal areas of Pakistan. "Without the green light from the Pakistani secret services and army there will not be any peace negotiations with the Taliban."
"If they want to fight the financial crisis in Greece they don't go to Turkey," Spanta quipped, making it quite clear that he thought too much time has been wasted on Afghanistan. He said there could not be another decade of sacrifice and that Afghan security forces had to take responsibility for their own country.
However, he was not that certain that they were ready. "Had work been done on this for 10 years, then yes they would be. But the Afghan security forces have only really been trained and armed in the past one and a half years."
Top of the agenda at next month's international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn will be the year 2014, when international troops are due to withdraw, and what comes next. In view of general war fatigue in the West, nobody wants to change the date, including Spanta.
However, many observers doubt that the supports on which Afghanistan is currently tottering rather than standing will be stable enough and that the West will be able to take away its own. Spanta says it’s doable and "if not then we don't deserve it."
Author: Kai Küstner / act
Editor: Shamil Shams