90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, February 16, 2012

Taliban Leaders Admit ‘Mea Culpa,’ Get Serious About Peace Talks

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. and Afghan officials are in three-way negotiations with the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai, who had been left out of recent talks, said he thinks the Taliban is definitely interested in a peace settlement.

Afghanistan expert Michael Semple agrees that the Taliban is ready to talk peace.

Taliban Admits ‘Serious Mistakes’

Semple tells Here & Now‘s Robin Young that the Taliban has admitted to him that they made “serious mistakes” when they were in power — among them giving succor to al-Qaida and enforcing social policies that alienated many Afghans.

Semple was a U.N. officer in Afghanistan in the early ’90s when the Taliban came to power, and he worked closely with Taliban leaders before the attacks of 9/11.

He says the same leaders still head the Taliban and over the last several years, they have not only come to fully understand their policy mistakes, they’ve analyzed those mistakes to make sure they don’t repeat them if they come back to power.

A real peace process is now under way in the country, Semple says, but before there can be any serious progress in the talks, there are still a number of unresolved issues with how the two sides can talk to each other.

Guest:

  • Michael Semple, Afghanistan expert and fellow at The Carr Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

March 3 3 Comments

Burying Grief In Training A Goshawk

In her award-winning book "H Is for Hawk," Helen Macdonald tells the story of training a vicious predator after her father's death.

March 3 11 Comments

The End Of The Lunch Hour

Studies show that only one in five people actually take a break and leave their desks to eat.

March 2 13 Comments

The Beanie Baby Boom And Bust – What Happened?

Zac Bissonnette drew on hundreds of interviews to write a book about "mass delusion and the dark side of cute."

March 2 5 Comments

Russian Opposition MP Reacts To Nemtsov Killing

The sole member of the Russian parliament to vote against the annexation of Crimea discusses the killing of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.