- Civilian casualties: Over 25,000
- Head Money: $50 m for Laden; $25 M for Zawahiri
The recent London meet on the Afghan issue has naturally fanned deep concerns all around about the willingness of western powers, including the US, to broker a deal with the Taliban, making many wonder whether the international coalition is indirectly admitting its inability to vanquish the Islamic militants. But the bitter truth is that the US and Britain, through Saudi and Pakistani officials, have been engaged in truce parleys with the Taliban for nearly two years.
Pakistani sources say representatives of the Hamid Karzai government and the Afghan Taliban held secret talks in Mecca between September 24 and 27, 2008. Participating, or rather supervising the parleys, were also American officials. The talks were spread over four days, but in the end failed to break the logjam. The...