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May 2018
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Anti-Sterlite protest: 11 killed in police firing in Thoothukudi        No charges for cancelling flight tickets within 24 hours of booking: Aviation Ministry proposal        Gowda says he is not opposed to Shivakumar being made minister        For the first time in 226, woman to lead the NYSE        Now, it's India vs Pakistan over Kishanganga project at World Bank        Afghanistan blast: 16 killed, 38 wounded in southern Kandahar province        SBI Q4 loss at Rs 7,718 crore as NPA provisions jump        Faf du Plessis shines as CSK beat SRH to enter seventh final        Emery set to succeed Wenger as Arsenal boss - reports        Venezuelan Prez Nicolas Maduro wins re-election        Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Review Of Verdict In Judge Loya Death Case        BJP now down to 272 Lok Sabha seats from 2014 tally of 282        Modalities of Government Formation in Karnataka Finalised, Says HD Kumaraswamy        PNB fraud: ED attaches Nirav Modi’s properties worth Rs 171 cr        CSK and SRH lock horns in Qualifier 1 for spot in IPL 2018 final        Belgium leave out Nainggolan for World Cup        Presence of Nipah virus confirmed in Kerala        Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or at Cannes        Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors 'critical'        Delhi knock Mumbai out with a thrilling 11-run win        
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International News
Afghan officials and Taliban talk despite wave of violence
 
Kabul, Feb 13 (AP) Afghan officials are carrying out at least two tracks of talks with the Taliban even after a month of brutal bombings and attacks by the militants that killed nearly 200 and despite President Donald Trump's angry rejection of any negotiations for now.

The persistence of the back-channel contacts reflects the desire to keep a door open for reconciliation even as the Afghan government and its top ally, the United States, fumble for a strategy to end the protracted war, now entering its 17th year.

Rifts within the Afghan government have grown vast, even as the Taliban gain territory and wage increasingly ruthless tactics.

The United States has unleashed heavier air power against the Taliban and other militants. After the string of Taliban attacks in recent weeks, Trump angrily condemned the group.

"We don't want to talk with the Taliban," he said. "There may be a time but it's going to be a long time."

Still, Afghanistan's intelligence chief Masoom Stanikzai and its National Security Chief Mohammed Hanif Atmar continue to each talk separately to the Taliban, say those familiar with the backdoor negotiations.

The problem, however, is that neither is talking to the other or to the High Peace Council, which was created by the government to talk peace with the Taliban, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the contacts.

Hakim Mujahid, a member of the High Peace Council, confirmed that Stanikzai still has regular contacts with the Taliban's point man for peace talks, Mullah Abbas Stanikzai. The two are not related.

Mujahid, who was the Taliban's representative to the United Nations during the group's five-year rule of Afghanistan that ended in 2001, said the group would not respond well to Trump's tough talk.

"The language of power, the language of threat will not convince Afghans to surrender," he said.

Andrew Wilder, vice president of the Asia Programme at the US Institute of Peace, said multiple players in Kabul have contacts with the Taliban.

"But this isn't being done in a coordinated manner to achieve clearly defined objectives," he said.

Later this month, representatives from dozens of countries are to meet for a second time in the Afghan capital for the so-called Kabul process aimed at forging a path to peace. The first round was held in June.

Still, the latest spate of violence has limited options for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is also fending off a mini-revolt within his own government, feuding with the vice president as well as a powerful northern governor.

Meanwhile, the former No 2 of the Taliban, Aga Jan Motasim, who still counts the radical religious movement's leader Mullah Habaitullah Akhunzada among his friends, warned that Trump's strategy of using the military to force a more compliant Taliban to the negotiation table could lead to more suicide attacks.


For the first time in 226, woman to lead the NYSE
Now, it's India vs Pakistan over Kishanganga project at World Bank
Afghanistan blast: 16 killed, 38 wounded in southern Kandahar province
Venezuelan Prez Nicolas Maduro wins re-election
Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or at Cannes
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors 'critical'
The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle declared husband and wife
8 killed in explosions at Afghanistan stadium
Passenger plane with at least 104 on board crashes in Cuba: state media
Trump offers Kim no toppling pledge for giving up nukes
Royal wedding: Prince Charles to walk Meghan down aisle
Malaysian Police raid former PM Najib Razak's residences
LHC rejects petition asking treason case against Nawaz Sharif
Melania Trump undergoes surgery for 'benign kidney condition'
Chinese hail 'hero' pilot who landed with broken cockpit window
US opens Jerusalem embassy amid death of 52 protesters
Chinese double amputee finally summits Everest, decades after first bid
Pakistan prevents US diplomat from leaving country
Philippine chief justice Sereno, Duterte's critic, removed
PM Modi, KP Oli Jointly Inaugurate Janakpur-Ayodhya Direct Bus Service
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
I am a big flop actor: Karan Johar
 (Mumbai, May 5, 2018): Filmmaker Karan Johar is in mood to take up full-fledged acting jobs.  
Bittersweet moment for us: Akshaye on Vinod Khanna's Dadasaheb Phalke honour
Happy Sonam is getting married, Anand a great guy: Harshvardhan Kapoor
Auctioning 'Rustom' costume for good cause: Akshay Kumar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala among 13 states on thunderstorm alert
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Malappuram press club attack: RSS workers nabbed
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NATIONAL NEWS
No charges for cancelling flight tickets within 24 hours of booking: Aviation Ministry proposal
 (New Delhi, May 22, 2018):In a comforting piece of news for air passengers, the government on
Gowda says he is not opposed to Shivakumar being made minister
Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Review Of Verdict In Judge Loya Death Case
BJP now down to 272 Lok Sabha seats from 2014 tally of 282
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