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Japanese party seeks peace in Afghanistan

TOKYO, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The Democratic Party of Japan says if it gains power it wants to help broker a cease-fire in Afghanistan between U.S.-led forces and Taliban militants.

Kyodo reported Sunday that the party said it would press for the plan if it topples the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the next election, which must be held by September.

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A draft resolution says the DPJ would call on the United Nations to press for the withdrawal of U.S., NATO and Pakistani forces stationed in Afghanistan, and establish an international team of truce monitors, including Japan and several Arab countries not involved in the conflict.

''We will make it clear that this will be different from the past involvement of foreign troops,'' a party member said.

Kyodo said the plan also calls for a non-partisan group of lawmakers to be established so working-level talks between the Taliban and Afghan and Pakistani ministerial-level officials can be held.

Under the plan, Japan would host an international conference in Tokyo to find a path toward peace in Afghanistan and ultimately invite Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Zardari to sign a peace agreement.

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