Afghan president says need to find way to say 'sorry' to Taliban

March 26, 2015 06:18
1 minute read.

WASHINGTON - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that some members of the Taliban had legitimate grievances given the torture and ill treatment they had suffered and it was necessary to find a way to apologize and heal national wounds.

Speaking during a visit to Washington, Ghani said South Africa and Rwanda, which set up truth and reconciliation commissions to come clean about past abuses but not necessarily to punish them, had been most effective in "devising collective forms of therapy" for traumatized nations.

Officials in Pakistan and Afghanistan said last month that the Afghan Taliban had signaled they were willing to open peace talks with Kabul.

Ghani said peace with the insurgents was "essential" and that some Taliban members had legitimate grievances.

"People were falsely imprisoned, people were tortured. They were tortured in private homes or private prisons," he said.

"How do you tell these people that you are sorry?"

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace think tank, Ghani praised a report by a US Senate committee chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein that said the CIA acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged in its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks, including in Afghanistan.

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