|Afghan President Hamid Karzai (2-L) speaks as former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabani (L), former mujahadin leader Pir Sayed Ahmad Gilani (2-R) and member of parliament Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf or 'Ustad Sayaf' look on during an inaugural meeting at the Presidential palace in Kabul on October 7, 2010. Karzai inaugurated a peace council appointed to broker peace with the Taliban and other insurgents fighting for nine years against his administration. (Xinhua/AFP)
KABUL, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the High Council for Peace in his fortified Palace on Thursday.
"The High Council for Peace is an independent body and takes its decisions independently," the President said in his opening remarks.
Weeks ago, President Karzai announced formation of the council for peace with objective to accelerate the efforts for achieving the government-backed national reconciliation program and talks with Taliban militants.
The 70-member High Council for Peace is consisted of former Jihadi leaders including two ex-presidents - Burhanudin Rabbani and Sibghatullah Mujadadi, former Taliban commanders, parliamentarians, government officials and some women.
However, Taliban outfit in a statement days ago rejected the High Council for Peace as a trick to deceive public opinion and called for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Special Report: Afghanistan Situation