'This Week' Transcript: Karzai, Khan and Levitt

MARQUEZ: Before a political settlement can even be contemplated, the Taliban will have to be defeated, and the people here assured they'll never return.

Is there any doubt in your mind that you can't expel the Taliban from your area of operation?

(UNKNOWN): We have no doubt. We will take care of the Taliban and we will return this area back to the people. We have no doubt.

MARQUEZ: No doubt his soldiers can win on the battlefield, but can the coalition and the Afghan government win the war? For This Week, I'm Miguel Marquez, in Sanjuray (ph), Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Joining me now from Kabul is the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

Mr. President, thank you for joining us this week.

KARZAI: Happy to be with you.

AMANPOUR: Mr. President, what is the roadmap for your peace talks with the Taliban and how confident are you that you can have some kind of settlement, political settlement with them?

KARZAI: The roadmap is clear. The indications for peace would be that Afghanistan will be ready to talk to those Taliban powers who belong to Afghanistan and who are not part of Al Qaida, who are not part of any other terrorist network, who accept the Afghan constitution and the progress that we have achieved in the past so many years, and who are willing to return to a normal civilian life and who are not connected to any foreign body outside of Afghanistan.

AMANPOUR: How advanced are you in trying to get the Taliban to these talks?

KARZAI: Of course, there are individual contacts with some Taliban elements. That's not yet a formal process.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about some of the concerns that people have? For instance, women's groups are very concerned. They say that promises by you to be properly and adequately represented at any peace jirga are faltering, and they are very concerned that any deal with the Taliban leads to their rights, those that they've gained, being -- being eradicated.

KARZAI: They will be part of the High Council For Peace as well. Their representation will be solid and meaningful, substantive. And of course, this is upon us as the right of the Afghan people to make sure that the gains we have made, especially the gains that our women have made in political, social and economic walks of life, not only are kept but are promoted and advanced further.

AMANPOUR: Well, given that pledge you are now making, how concerned are you by, for instance, the stoning of that couple, that young couple in Afghanistan over the last week, the first public stoning since the fall of the Taliban after 9/11?

KARZAI: I was shocked when I heard that. That's a terrible sign. That's -- that's indeed part of our failure, the Afghan government and the international community as well, to give protection to the Afghan people. We are investigating it, but it came to me as a deep, deep shock.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you this, the president of Pakistan recently said that the battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan is already lost. Do you agree with him, and do you believe that the war in Afghanistan is winnable?

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