Editor’s Note: Abbas Daiyar began his blog, Kabul Perspective, last year to look at issues in Kabul and around the world. He has worked with newspapers in Pakistan and reported for news agencies in the past and is now a member of the editorial board of the independent Daily Outlook Afghanistan newspaper in Kabul. The opinions expressed in this guest blog are solely those of Abbas Daiyar.
Once again the talks about talks with Taliban are gaining momentum. It got hyped when President Hamid Karzai announced a Peace Council to talk with the insurgents. This is apparently the most serious attempt, but the process is a complex one, as shown by the contradicting media reports.
It was a U-turn when the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus said NATO has let at least one Taliban commander come to Kabul. Some reports even suggested Taliban commanders were flown to Kabul in a NATO aircraft. It’s more of a political statement rather than a policy, or a green signal for the insurgents, showing a change in the U.S. reluctance over talks with Taliban. But it’s just propaganda when military commanders in Afghanistan say Taliban are under pressure, therefore more are forced to talks. The fact is that 2010 has been the deadliest year for U.S. forces since the start of war.
Rumors also surround talks with Taliban. For instance, last month there was a private conference in the Serena Hotel of Kabul. Former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, former Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Mutawakil, a cousin and some aides of President Karzai, and nationalist and religious Pashtun leaders from Pakistan were participants of this private conference. The media was not informed of the event, thus rumors circulated that ‘secret’ talks were being held with Taliban. Another report about the release of Mullah Baradar by Pakistani intelligence was also rumor, circulating on major media outlets as breaking news.
Since the Peace Council started its work, the Afghan government claimed some senior Taliban commanders have contacted them for peace talks. Then, Taliban spokesmen denied any such contacts. In a recent interview with BBC Urdu, former Gitmo detainee Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said the news of talks with Taliban is propaganda to divide and create distrust among the ranks of Taliban leadership. He also warned the insurgents to be wise against the rumors.
So, the prospects of talks with Taliban are very much overestimated. Apparently, the best hope for decision makers in Kabul and Washington is the Peace Council. But there is no one prominent on the council. President Karzai has said the council will be independent, but its chairman was appointed by him. The mechanism of this council will not be a serious working body, as already problems have emerged from within the council. Chairman Senator Sibghatullah Mujadadi and some members of the council are not happy with former President Burhanuddin Rabbani as its chairman. And Taliban commander in Kandahar Sayed Rahmani has said Rabbani is a traitor who should face a similar fate of Dr. Najibullah after Taliban took over Kabul in the 1990s (Najibullah was killed). When the militants, whom they are going to talk, do not recognize neutrality of Rabbani and others included, how is it going to work? Two prominent names are not on the list of council members: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, former rival of President Karzai in last year’s elections and key opposition leader, and Dr. Ramazan Bashardost, another former rival, and the one who talked of the talks with Taliban during his presidential elections campaign.
If there are some former Taliban talking with the Afghan government, it should not mean insurgents are “in contact.” Also, there are many “senior” Taliban leaders and factions.
There are four main factions of insurgent groups.
1) Militants operating in southern parts of the country are mostly affiliated with the Kandahari faction of Taliban led by commanders directly taking orders from Mullah Omar, who is believed to command through the so-called “Quetta Shura” from Quetta city in Pakistan. They operate in southern provinces of Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Helmand, Nimruz and central provinces of Ghazni and Maidan Wardak.
2) The other major group fighting in southeastern provinces on the Af-Pak border is the Haqqani Network led by the Haqqani brothers who are operating from the safe havens of North Waziristan in the tribal region of Pakistan. The Haqqani operatives are influential in Kunar, Nooristan, Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces.
3) Another division of fighters who infiltrate from the tribal areas of Pakistan are affiliated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by the Mehsoods. This group has conducted many deadly suicide attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan, including the one on a CIA camp by a double-agent recently. They are also targeting the supply vehicles for NATO.
4) The militant group Hizb-i-Islami of Gulbadin Hekmatyar have supporters in Kabul and operate in Logar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kapisa and some northern insurgency-hit provinces.
As you can see, the leaders and factions are a complex web.
Last year when the talks about talks with the Taliban started, separation of Taliban from al Qaeda was a pre-condition. But nowadays, in the new prospects of talks, no one discusses the reportedly new arrivals of al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. Groups like TTP have close operational ties with al Qaeda, such as the recent attack on the CIA camp in Khost illustrates. And there are new militant leaders emerging.
Among the militant groups, Hizb-i-Islami of Gulbadin Hekmatyar had already responded to the previous offers of negotiations. A couple of months ago, Gulbadin came up with a plan of settlement through negotiations with the fundamental demand of foreign troops’ withdrawal. There are no hopes they will change their mind this time.
In such a mess, it’s naïve to expect the current attempts at talks will succeed. It didn’t work after attempts to buy off Taliban mid-level commanders, and now the efforts to contact senior leadership won’t work either. The prospects of talks are much more complicated than that.
Be it the efforts to persuade Mullah Omar or to engage the Haqqani Network or combating the al Qaeda-linked Taliban in tribal regions of Pakistan - the military intelligence of Pakistan has to be a pivotal part of the solution process, which is even more complicated right now with lack of trust between the U.S. and Pakistan, and the doubts toward Islamabad in Kabul.
we people of Afghanistan do not trust talking with Taliban, becasuse Taliban are wild and their handl is in the hand of ISI and they are wild animals and you can not talk with them, they do not trust on peace and walefare of the people and they just know how to kill people and destory villages and towns ,,
ЗАКРЫВАЕТСЯ ЮВЕЛИРНЫЙ МАГАЗИН [b]MONROE GEMS CH[/b] !!!
Объвляется финальная распродажа всей коллекции драгоценностей по финальным ценам .
ИМЕННО ДЛЯ ВАС ДОПОЛНИТЕЛЬНЫЕ СКИДКИ !!!
[u]ЗАКРЫВАЕТСЯ ЮВЕЛИРНЫЙ ОН-ЛАЙН СТОК – [b]MONROE GEMS CH[/b] !!! [/u]
Продолжается полная ликвидация ювелирных украшений по низким прайсам .
ИМЕННО ДЛЯ ВАС [i][b]ДОПОЛНИТЕЛЬНЫЕ СКИДКИ !!![/b][/i]
[i] Отправка во все регионы.[/i]
you can do peace talk with those, who belief the talk and the peace, but neither the Taliban and nor Pakistan believe on peace, just the Taliban and Pakistan (Alqeda) want to kill people and take the power, I do not think that the peace talk is important with Taliban , Alqeda, it is like giving of tribute for the terrorists, which is the Afghanistan people do not want that, people want justice, because Taliban have killed , genocide many people in the country. Due Karzai and his some ministers are affiliated with Taliban and their Taliban so that they want to talk with them, but the people do not want that, you may have heard through news that the Taliban's attacks escalated since the peace talks started its mean Taliban do not want to talk, it is better to take strong measures against Taliban Alqeda (Pakistan) rather than whimpers
from Kabul Afghanistan
why are we still there. to help introduce democracy? outside of Kabul the Afghan people still live pretty much in the stoneage. deocrawhat?
I understand the initial reason–9-11. but now all weve done is change places with the taliban and al qaeda.
its like weve invaded a prison and chased the prisoners off and now we occupy the prison. they know exactly where we are but we can only guess where thy ran off to.
we need to begin the withdrawl now. I know the taliban and al qaeda will eventually return but doesnt that mean we will know where they are just lik pre 9-11. we will never be able to stop terrorism but -excuse the NFL reference-but we may be able to contain it to a greater extent
Good posts by many.
Safety science and “THE LADY WHO FROM DESERT “in
You obviously have no knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudential law, which states that retaliation is decreed to those who have been driven from their appointed resting. "Slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter." (Q. 2:191) Of course, ignorant disbelieving non-Muslims like yourself don't know that the Shariah is based on Qur'an, so the Qur'anic ruling is paramount.
Muslim clerics (ayatollahs, muftis, mullahs, imams, sheiks, ullemas, etc.) are the roots of all suicide attacks and violence around the world. These evil creatures transform an ordinary person into an irrational beast. They are the leaders of the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. These AntiChrist followers exert absolute power on Islamic societies controlling tribunals, police, interpreting laws, becoming judge, juror & witness at the same time in their condemns to their own people. If they all were prosecuted and eliminated by applying on them their own evil Islamic moral standards and punishments, most violence around the world would cease.
This is called FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR! The Ayatollah, Mullah, Shuyukh etc; don't do ANYTHING. They just issue Islamic law rulings (Fatawah) based on personal reasoning. (Ijtihad) In actuality, these stem from the SAME SOURCES which are the Qur'an and Ahadith and the understanding of the Salaf-us-Saalih, who are the ORIGINAL MUSLIMS! (The first three generations of Muslims).
So stop blaming PEOPLE for what an IDEOLOGY has done.
Did anyone watch the Taliban thing tonight. They seem to be a bunch of ignorant hillbillys who hide out and take pot shots and then run away. If they get very lucky they actualy might hit something but usualy they don't. Their leaders feed them a line of BS that they killed a lot of Americans when realy they did'nt hit anything.The only thing that seems to work at all for them is roadside bombs. They have little if any training from the top on down.
10.51pm on NOVEMBER 2ND i DID NOT POST. 360 PEOPLE HAVE LIED AGAIN AND HAVE STOLEN MY ID TOO.
Are you sure that 9/11 was not a C.I.A. put up job? True or not,it was a great boon to the Bush administration!
10.55 PM POST ON NOVEMBER SECOND.i DID NOT POST. ONCE AGAIN A 360 GHOST HAS LANDED HERE
Today it's the U.S. and it's NATO allies who are trying to subjugate Afghanistan and exploit it's resources!
Please....do not send drones ..just send Jumbo jets with pilots under drugs.
IMHO Drone is the civilized world response to the unruly Islam inspired extremist warriors who are accountable to none. Hellfire from Drone will not stop until Islam or countries who are accountable manage to bring this loonies to justice.
The only loonies who need to be brought to justice are those filthy creeps who operate those ungodly drone aircraft,hurling 500lb.bombs on defenseless people.Those creeps should prosecuted to the fullest extent of international law but,unfortunately,they won't because the people in authority have no sense of justice!!!
Given a choice the world prefers the power who send Drone, who maintain world order, give aid to victims of flood, hurricane, tsunami, volcano etc. On the other end of spectrum are these loonies who are hell bent on creating death and destruction. The choice is stark.
So your terrorists and murderous friends of truth of 360 degrees have no fear of god for their actions in these killings? And because they do not behave in a manner you approve it is OK to kill them along with 19 others in the Mosque praying?
Your ancestors were criminals who tried all tricks incl. violent means to convert us. Being proud HINDU we suffered under your rule. Never in next millennium we will allow that to repeat. We are part of the world you find no place or at least your thoughts. You are deep in your rat hole and will eventually be dealt with, check for drone above.
We were taught a lot of lies here in Pakistan as well, but then I read what others (westerners and Indians) were saying on the same issues to get all perspectives. I'd suggest you the same.
You know what the biggest problem with drones is!!! (No no its not the sovereignty!! We keep compromising on that time and again) Its accountability!! We don't have any way to determine who the victims really are. Have some regard for humanity for God's sake. Wikileaks also had some information on the fact that how inaccurate the drone attacks were but that story understandably didn't get that much attention in the western media.
Killing a man along with 19 others during prayers is not hatred but truth of 360 degrees that allows the killing of others who do not follow the same lifestyle?
My bad you said he ask for it and he got it, his desire was fulflilled. Is this not hatred for ones belief?
I still want to applaud the right-wing news media for their sensational job of disinforming the public about these Capitalist wars and getting people to believe in our "splendid" victories in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So what is the real story Spiro? Once you get past FOX news, the right wing media thing doesn't seem to jive all that well. Maybe you should tune in to Keith Olbermann. Add in the White House Press Secretary et al handling of the current war and I have trouble seeing the right -wing thing. In any case, for news I prefer international sources as most American News is pure drivel. Are they part of the right wing media conspiracy too?
i think d writer is a good one
Phunny boy ..write under your own ID. tHIS IS ME REAL DINDY.
If applauding and saying he got what he deserved after the bombing and assassination of a Governor of a northern province in Afghanistan in a Mosque during Friday prayers yet, is not hatred I don't know what is!
Easier said than done. The article points to a very real theme over here in that nothing is simple and easy, let alone in the nice shades of white and black that most Americans prefer. 30 years of war, civil war, foreign occupation, and general lack of stability have made this place an absolute and unequivocal mess. There are no optimal solutions and it won't be fixed by July 2011. Kind of like a buffet of $h1t sandwiches: a number of choices – pick you bread and favorite condiments – but it is what it is.
Had the Communists won out over the Mujeheddin back in 1978,there would never have been a Russian intervention,no Taliban and no mess as it is known today. That's because of all this outside interference. We need to adopt a "laissez faire" policy toward the whole region and stick to it!!!
Nice theoretical discussion, but not much use for a way ahead to address the current problem.
Quite true Joseph,quite true. Thank you.
We need to do more than just talk about talking with the Taliban. We need to get all parties to the negotiating table and the sooner we end this obnoxious war,the better.
Good posting,Dan. That statement is one of the most sensible ones here yet. Thank you.
The cause of the war is the fact that chinese passports where used. To deny this fact is to deny understanding that most of our presious metals will be easily obtained from Afganistan by china if we leave. We can rebuild or china will slash, burn and kill as they do in death camps in North Korea or as they did as recently in Vietnam. Your ignorance on the current subject shows..
It's great to know there are still a lot of disinformed people like you around. That means the right-wing news media did a stupendous job which in turn means that us right-wing thugs will have nothing to worry about!
Jane just in case you hadn't guessed, Dan in Lafayette, IN, George Patton, Spiro T.Agnew and Joseph McCarthy posting comments here are one and the same person.
Sorry Daniel,he does this to me all the time. He keeps trying to make look like some kind of a right-wing nutjob! We'll just have to get used to it!!!
Hey Phunnie boy(Daniel-2),I thought that we were on the same side. What happened??? I am a right-wing big-wig after all as I was all for the war in Vietnam and against my buddy Richard's wage-price freeze.Don't you remember?
Hello Jane,I'm the original Daniel-2. Don't pay any attention to that bozo who keeps on blogging under my name. He's only trying to be funny. That's why we call him Phunnie boy. He thinks that this obscene war is a big fat joke!
Jane, you can now include USMC Forever and the name i am posting under. The list of stolen 'aliases' is extensive but it doesn't take much working out who is who.
Thanks Phunnie boy. I was beginning to feel qute hurt when I didn't see my name on your _ list. In fact, I didn't think that you even liked me anymore. By the way,can you stop ridiculing Gen. Patton? He is my hero!
Hey Phunnie boy,you forgot me. Don't you remember ridiculing me? It wasn't quite that long ago. I also noticed how you've been ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed lately.It's quite offensive to the Muslims and that should stop.
this belief of a god who does not care and gives the thumbs up to kill and maimed people of all communities no matter race or creed but bullies and those who love to murder and maimed behind a mask of hatred religeon give up your mask and admit your a bulliy and whatever you did in the name of the mask .muslim christianty jew hindu and so on .What GOD that loves beyond the widow, ophan ,those who breaks a law. ?
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