Tory adviser denies existence of blueprint to split Afghanistan into ‘kingdoms’

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:09:47 EST, 9  September 2012| UPDATED:17:03 EST, 9 September 2012

A Foreign Office aide has slammed claims that  Afghanistan could be split into eight different ‘kingdoms’ – with some ruled by  the Taliban.

According to the Independent on Sunday  newspaper Tobias Ellwood MP has devised a radical blueprint for the future of  Afghanistan, code-named Plan C, which would see President Hamid Karzai relegated  to a figurehead role.

But speaking to Mail Online, Mr Ellwood said  there was no such plan and that the document in question was a confidential  development report written 18 months ago.

Map showing the eight different regions which could become separate kingdoms including Kabul, which is starred The eight different regions which it was reported could  be made separate kingdoms however Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood suggested  the word was ‘provocative’ and that the proposal was to create ‘economic  hubs’

He insisted that there was no question of  creating kingdoms or partitioning the country.

The report, he claimed, aimed to  examine  ways to encourage economic development and ensure the future  stability of the  country and was the result of lengthy consultations  with various Afghan  factions.

He said: ‘There is no question of kingdoms or  partition of any kind.

‘This report is based on the views and  thoughts of the Afghan people including academics and local leaders.

‘This isn’t a plan, it was a private paper  based on observations that were made two years ago.’

According to the Independent on Sunday the  ‘plan’ divides Afghanistan into eight zones – Kabul, Kandahar,  Herat,  Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Jalalabad, Khost and Bamyan.

Mr Ellwood claimed it only considered the  creation of economic hubs ‘completely different’ from kingdoms or  partitions.

The zones would be run by a council  representing different ethnic groups and overseen by one or more foreign  countries.

Mr Ellwood described the use of the word  ‘Kingdom’ as ‘inaccurate’ and ‘extremely provocative’.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai

According to the Independent on Sunday newspaper Tobias  Ellwood MP, left, has devised a  blueprint for the future of Afghanistan  which would see President Hamid Karzai, right, relegated to a figurehead  role

The newspaper quoted the report as  reading:  ‘The Taliban will not enter into a meaningful dialogue if there is no feasible  political strategy within which they can participate…  An alternative solution  [offers] a less centralised political structure  that better reflects the ethnic  make-up of the country, the already  established economic hubs and the regional  interest of the Taliban, who  might then be encouraged towards a political  settlement.’

The existence of the report was  reportedly  confirmed by a senior government source who said it had been  presented to  Foreign Secretary William Hague and to the White House.

critics have warned that Britain  should not  be imposing a system on Afghanistan and instead should be  concentrating on  removing military forces by 2014.

Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the  Afghanistan Analysts Network, told the Independent on Sunday: ‘Splitting the  country into such regions will result in the empowerment of what we have started  calling ‘local (or regional) power brokers’ and what was  known as ‘warlords’  before, whose misrule between 1992 and 1996 caused  the rise of the Taliban in  the first place.

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