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Talking to the Taliban

An unprecedented look inside the Taliban

TORONTO, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- This Saturday, The Globe and Mail launches an unprecedented and revealing look inside the Taliban in Afghanistan. Who are they? Why are they fighting? Who are their leaders? What do Taliban soldiers and supporters know about the rest of the world?

The answers to these questions come from the Taliban themselves, revealed through interviews of 42 fighters in the Kandahar district. Globe and Mail foreign correspondent Graeme Smith, based in Afghanistan since early 2006, draws on the depth of his personal knowledge and experience to provide context for the stories being told by the Taliban soldiers.

"Canada has not learned enough about the Taliban, despite this country's significant role in Afghanistan," said Graeme Smith. "The insurgents are driven by motives and guided by cultural rules that are completely unfamiliar to Western thinking. A better understanding of the enemy is critical to eventually finding peace."

The six-part series is an interactive, print and online program that will run daily from March 22 to March 28 in the front news and World sections of The Globe and Mail. The exclusive video interviews of the Taliban, with narration by Smith, along with information that is more detailed and interactive content, including the questionnaire asked of the Taliban soldiers and transcripts of the interviews, will all be available at http://www.globeandmail.com/.

The series offers a rare glimpse into the Taliban psyche by exploring: - how the Taliban's extreme views on religion and foreigners will make any peace process very difficult; - how many ordinary Afghans feel compelled to fight in defense of their opium fields, for the sake of their tribe, or as a response to civilian bombings; - the complexities of the underlying ancient tribal struggles that shape this war; - the contradictory relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan; - the limited view the Taliban have of NATO with few knowing or understanding what NATO is; - how a new emerging Islamic rationale for suicide attacks is gaining ground; and, - the business of insurgency.

The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, is a division of CTVglobemedia, a dynamic multi-media company, which also owns CTV Inc., Canada's number-one private broadcaster.

Globe and Mail

CONTACT: For more information or to arrange an interview with Graeme
Smith, please contact: Teresa Pagnutti at (416) 969-2721 or (416) 230-0172
(cell), tpagnutti@environicspr.com

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