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UN team to evaluate Afghan terror blacklist: Envoy

world Updated: Jun 12, 2010 19:17 IST

A United Nations committee will visit Afghanistan this month to consider the removal of militants from its terrorism blacklist, the UN's special representative to the country said on Saturday.

Staffan di Mistura said the visit will come at a 'crucial period' after the landmark 'peace jirga' in Afghanistan this month, which produced a 16-point resolution that included a call for removing militant leaders from the list.

"The review is due by the end of the month," di Mistura told a news briefing in the Afghan capital. However, he said its report might be delayed because it was "linked to a very delicate and important period in Afghanistan".

The jirga advised the government to seek the removal of names -- including those of Mullah Mohammad Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- from the UN Security Council blacklist compiled after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

The list designated as terrorists Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders who were based in Afghanistan at the time, and helped to provide a UN-sanctioned justification for the US-led invasion of the country in November 2001.

"The momentum of the peace jirga, which was a success, needs to be maintained," di Mistura told reporters.

"Some of the people on the list may not even be alive any more. The list could be completely outdated," he added, but stressed that the decision to remove names from the blacklist would be up to the Security Council.

Di Mistura was among 1,600 delegates, including around 200 diplomats, who were invited to the three-day jirga, which was held in a giant tent on the outskirts of Kabul.

At the end of the gathering the delegates drew up a declaration which urged all parties in the Afghan conflict to disarm and reconcile.

Other proposals included releasing some Taliban prisoners, developing a comprehensive peace programme, a call on militants to renounce violence and to drop all preconditions for peace talks.

Although symbolic, the lasting impact of the jirga, which is a traditional Afghan gathering convened in times of trouble, remains unclear.

The Taliban, ousted by the 2001 invasion, were not invited and attacked the opening session with rockets and suicide bombers. The militants have vowed to boycott any peace negotiations.