Kabul: From a simple mud-walled house above a steep Kabul hillside buried deep in snow, the Taliban's former guardian of virtue and once-feared scourge of vice sees a revolution under way.
Maulvi Qalamuddin, the bearded cleric who oversaw the religious police squads which roamed Afghan streets beating women, smashing televisions and herding men into mosques, says a more moderate Taliban is emerging as its leaders look to the future and eye a political return through nascent peace talks.
"Now it is much different, as different as the grass is to the sky," Qalamuddin told Reuters in his small study, lined in Islamic texts, crimson carpets and lace curtains the same sky blue as the head-to-toe burkhas worn by many Afghan women.
With his blue silk turban and heavy, black-framed glasses, Qalamuddin is as imposing as when first appointed deputy minister for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice by the Taliban's leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, during the Islamist group's brutal rule for Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001....more
05:29 PM, Feb 21, 2012
Washington: US has termed as 'untrue' sentiments inside Pakistan that it was being sidelined by the Obama Administration in peace talks with the Taliban. "Absolutely untrue", State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, when asked there was a feeling inside Pakistan that they are being sidelined in these talks with Taliban. "We have at every opportunity been clear that we think that Pakistan has a very important role to play in...
09:03 AM, Jan 27, 2012