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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Amnesty offer to Taleban leader
Mullah Mohammad Omar
The US says Mullah Omar must pay for his crimes
The head of Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission says Taleban head Mullah Mohammed Omar should be included in an amnesty programme.

Mr Omar and renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar should be accepted back if they renounce arms, said Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, a former Afghan president.

The US military responded by saying "all guilty of serious crimes must be responsible for their actions".

President Hamid Karzai has previously said top militants would not qualify.

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He has yet to respond to the comments by Mr Mojaddedi, the head of the Independent National Commission for Peace in Afghanistan.

The commission was set up this year to push forward the peace process in the country.

Mr Mojaddedi told a press conference in Kabul: "The issue of Hekmatyar and Mullah Omar, if the government of Afghanistan has announced it, that was the policy some while ago. The policies change day by day."

Guantanamo Bay

Mr Mojaddedi said his policy had been cleared with the Afghan government.

Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, head of Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission
Our commission is independent and we want to deal with all individuals
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi,
peace commission

He added: "Our terms are if they lay down their weapons, respect the constitution and obey the government, we don't have big conditions for them."

The former president said the amnesty should also cover all Afghan prisoners held at the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at Bagram air base near Kabul.

Mr Karzai has previously pushed an amnesty for rank-and-file Taleban who want to return to Afghan society.

The US has supported a degree of amnesty for "non-criminal" elements to break the opposition of the Taleban.

But US military spokesman Col James Yonts said on Monday: "Our position all along has been that those guilty of serious crimes must be responsible for their actions,

"We believe the government of Afghanistan understands and supports that."


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