New Zealand will not pay for Taliban fund

mcully.jpgWellington (dpa) – New Zealand will not join allied governments incontributing to an international fund to pay Taliban fighters to give up their guns in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Murray McCully told a newspaper Monday.

Australia, Britain, Japan and South Korea have announced contributions to the fund proposed by Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai last week at an international conference in London.

The fund would pay Taliban fighters to give up their arms,renounce al-Qaeda and abide by the laws of Afghanistan.

McCully told the New Zealand Herald the government supported the concept, “but anything that involves significant amounts of money being used for reintegration needs to be looked at very carefully to make sure there are no funds travelling to people we would not wish to be supported.”

New Zealand has about 70 crack special forces troops with the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul and 140 soldiers with a provincial reconstruction team in Bamyan province.