March 12th, 2010
07:29 AM ET

Ex-Pakistan spy chief urges talks with Omar

Retired General Hamid Gul

Talking to the Taliban leader in Afghanistan may help bring peace to the country, according to a former Pakistan spy chief once referred to as the "father of the Taliban."

Retired Gen. Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI spy agency, worked with the CIA through the 1980s to fund and train the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets. Many of the Mujahedeen went on to govern Afghanistan as the Taliban, who are led by Mullah Omar.

"The best situation would be to talk to Mullah Omar," Gul said. "Put up your own conditions where I would say it is legitimate ... I think they will accept. I know their psychology."

Face-to-face talks would work best, Gul added.

"You have to engage him. You have to talk to him," Gul said. "There is no one else, for heaven sake, why beat around the bush?"

Last year, Gul said Omar was the only person who can improve U.S. interests in Afghanistan.

"Mullah Omar, nobody else," Gul said.

He insisted that President Barack Obama's administration can access Omar through the Pakistan military. But the Pakistani Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied that the Pakistani military is in contact with Omar and that it can bring him and other commanders to the negotiating table.

In his latest interview, Gul decried the terrorist label on the Taliban, saying former President George W. Bush was wrong to call them that.

"This is wrong, by any definition," he said. "No shred of evidence is available that they were involved in any terrorist activity."

Last year, Gul said a stated Taliban condition to any discussions - the complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan first - was not a fixed demand.

With concessions from Washington, it could be softened and make way for negotiations to begin, he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he will pursue talks with the Taliban as part of a reconciliation and reintegration plan.

Karzai has said he plans to buy off low-level Taliban foot soldiers with cash and make peace with some Taliban leaders by offering them government positions.

While Washington supports the plan, it rejects a dialogue involving Omar.

The Taliban has said Omar is not interested in a peace deal.

-CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report.

RELATED: Your view: Is it possible to negotiate with the Taliban?

Filed under: Pakistan • Taliban
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Mobeen Bhatti

    "not terrorists?"...taliban kill innocent pakistanis on a daily basis when some of them explode in schools, offices, markets...even mosques! for no purpose but to spread their doesn't matter whose side you are on they are nothing but terrorists!

    March 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. weshi jatt

    well first of all ur own ppl say that ossama didnt destroy building go watch farenheit 911 ... second no matter how hard u try to kill those ppl u cant finish them so its best to talk with them and say sorry to them for attaching their country and killing innocent ppl . im sure they will forgive u...fighting them and killing them wont solve the prob since everyone knows .. they never surrender

    March 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cooper

    Unless you think you can exterminate the Taliban, you are going to have to deal with them. The problem is the terrorist of 9/11 are all dead or captured or safe in Saudi Arabia. You are dealing with people that are part of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Either you get to understand them intimately to properly change their society or you let them deal with their issues on their own. Killing leaders is probably not going to do much at all with a religious and idea based movement. You are going to have to find a way to get along with the group or get rid of them including their women and children. If you recall, even the Europeans could not exterminate the Americans, so I suggest you find a way to peacefully coexist.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Daniel

    All this warmongering talk makes me sick.I see that the righ-wing media has managed to insill in these people a lynch mob mentality,We are purportedly a Christian nation,but of the ten commandments,we seem to have forgotten the fifth,that is,"thou shalt not kill".

    March 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    "The Taliban are scumbags not worthy of negotiation. The better solution is to capture or kill Omar. If he is so important, then doing so should bring their existence to an end"....said the Russians in the 80's.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jeff

    Wow, most of you are surprisingly ignorant on this subject yet you decide to tell people your under informed opinion like its fact. First of all Karzi is an idiot and secondly we made the taliban and its us offering them money. However on the same note the Taliban are not linked to bin laden and alquida, they are killing us but they target valid military targets so are therefore not terrorists.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nobody important

    War is beautiful

    March 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel

    Set up the meeting, capture him by faking a bombing and announce him dead, torture him to find the names of all others like him and then kill him.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. TomColt

    You have to remember that Hamid Gul is not saying this for us, he is saying this to maintain his relationship with the Taliban. Without any leverage with the political entity he managed (he didn't 'create' them) then he becomes an absolute "non-player" and without a role outside his limited circle inside Pakistan.

    The person to talk to isn't Mullah Omar. It is with his disaffected senior subordinates who know the truth – that it is Omar's pride and tribal traditions that keeps their chief from turning over the unwelcome Al Qaida visitors, not Islam. They must be the ones to remove Mullah Omar. Otherwise, a carbon copy will assume his position after his removal, and you are right back where you started.

    Al Qaida has put the Taliban in a terrible position out of which Mullah Omar cannot and will not extract them. The Taliban would have preferred to have gone quietly unnoticed and uncriticized for their Medieval ways, but UBL's protected status has kept the spotlight on them, threatening their existence and bleeding their troops against the Americans and NATO.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mohan from Texas

    Never belive an ISI agent. Taliban go by the Koran. Koran says if you are at receiving end of the stick – its okay to make a "temporary" peace with the guy holding the stick. But the fight still stays on in their hearts until they become equals or stronger. There are examples of this in Hadith.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jay

    It really sickens me to read a lot of these replies. Being active US Military myself and having seen these events play out of the past few years really changes perspective. But as I sit here and read countless of my fellow Americans refer to the Taliban, a government not Terror Cell mind you, as animals, bacteria, and scum that "don't deserve to live" and "should be exterminated" it gravely saddens me. I swore an oath to protect our Constitution which directly states "that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator certain unalienable rights." So here you have a people who where deeply offended when we marched all over their land back in the Gulf War and they retaliated the only way they could. Believe me I am in no way justifying what they did, but how does that turn them into less than people who don't deserver to live? Does this not contradict everything we as Americans once believed in?

    Likewise, I hope this "Crusade" against the Taliban and Al-Qada hasn't cost you personally as much as it has cost those of us who serve. Who have lost limbs, lives, friends, and families(after countless never-ending deployments). Plus how many of you stop to think just what patrolling around in Iraq or Afgahnistan where even the citizens would booby trap their houses and streets to stop you from being there. Do you know what it is like to have to worry that each step could be your last, that every time you close your eyes you might not wake up to see those you love again. Every sound in the distance could be the last thing you hear, gunfire and explosions echoing in your head. All the while you are letting the terrorists win, increasing security beyond reasonable measures, sacrificing the very freedoms we are dieing to preserve, and watching our economy crash due to the wars.

    Never forget those who have to get their hands dirty for your revenge. We will never forget those who have fallen for you.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. omar k.

    Hamid Gul is not taken seriously by anyone in Pakistan. He is a conspiracy theorist and a fanatic. CNN should not give him any legitimacy.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. Duncan

    "The Taliban are clearly terrorists"

    And so are the Americans. I would guess that those in villages who are bombed believe the US are terrorists. I think those who disagree with foreign (US) troops being in their country believe the US are terrorists.

    Who is a terrorist really depends on which side you are on.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Marc

    ESP, I have to agree with you. The big 3 letter word. That's why I said the only reason this war is still taking place is for other interest. They don't want this war to end because it'll prevent "the one's" from accomplishing the real mission. OIL. or who knows. Maybe it's the OPIUM..

    March 12, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Warouw

    How come they wanna deal & negotiate with taliban, they're evil and satan, is not gonna work if you deal with them, satan is the murderer from the begining and the father of lie.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  16. john

    Hamid Gul is the most evil person you can imagine. He is the one that started the Taliban movement for the purpose of having a PUPPET movement to keep India away. He was and is the main supporter of Taliban. It is a shame that he is walking around freely. I would be scared of this devil than Omar.
    Taliban don't know what negotiation mean. I think it would a waste of time and money to negotiate with any of these idiots. Here is the best way to deal with Taliban: Partition Pakistan, give half of it to Afghanistan and Half of it to India the way it use to be. There should be only Afghanistan, Iran, and India. Then there will be peace.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  17. Vikram Chhabra

    Even though I hold the Taliban in disgust I think that the US will have to eventually talk to them. The Taliban, however primitive they are, are not the Nazi's. Also they control and represent substantial percentage of the Pashtun population and are capable of maintaining peace even with their tribalistic methods.

    I feel if they are given legitimacy through negotiation in which they are forced to break their alliance with terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, then eventually down the road the Afghan people will force them to revoke their primitive ways and force them to be part of the comity of nations in this world.

    It is by isolation that prevents new information from going into Afghanistan that allows the Taliban to thrive. If Afghanistan is opened to the world and accepted for who they are, then I am sure through means of education and communication they will force positive changes which includes womens freedom.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  18. Nancy

    Stop thinking!!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  19. Don From Atlanta

    Omar is not in control anymore. He can only watch his empire dissolve. Sometime soon the Pakistani military will capture him without Gen. Hamid Guls help. In the meantime the Coalition forces will annihilate what’s left of the Talban in Afghanistan. There’s no need to negotiate with these barbarians!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  20. ESP

    The historical perspective on this so interesting. We armed and trained these people to fight the Russians for their independence. The Russians leave and then we go and fight the folks we just armed and trained to fight against occupying forces. When the Taliban were in power they all but stopped the opium trade. We toss them out and opium explodes. The irony is incredible. Why do we want Afghanistan anyway? My guess is OIL. We need to develop other energy sources so we don't have to constantly worry about what is happening on the other side of the world. On foreign policy, the only one who has got this right is Ron Paul.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  21. Marc

    The people of afghanistan didn't complain about what the taliban were doing then. We're on the hunt for people who probably don't exist anymore. If you really knew what was going on behind closed doors in the whitehouse and american agencies you'd more than likely label us terrorists as well. We're free today because of our terrorist actions in the past. Terror is a huge part of power and that is what this is about. An example of terrorism is nuclear weapons. Why do you think other countries have them and others want them? It's leverage and power. You want to label someone a terrorist I suggest we look at home also.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  22. Dan Lafayette,IN

    I don't know where mike lives but I do know that the U.S. and the coalition forces along with the Afghan army will rout the Taliban and it's terror network within Afghanistan and hopefully the Pakistan army will do the same within Pakistan. The world will be a better place without these radical Islamic terrorists!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  23. Keith

    Many people forget that the Taliban aren't just radicals wanting Jihad. There is a monetary factor involved. The peasants who "support" the Taliban are also protected or are forced by the Taliban to grow poppy for the heroin trade providing an influx of money to the Taliban. There needs to be a way to introduce agriculture that feeds Afganistan, is an exportable product on a global scale, doesn't feed the global herion crisis or the Taliban radicals monitarily.

    'teach a man to fish".

    March 12, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  24. Eurus

    Why should a country of its caliber, the United States, stoop down and negotiate with an enemy like the Taliban that we are at war with? Are we finally giving up and waving the white flag? Are we going to offer a negotiation with Mr. Bin Laden next?

    "Karzai has said he plans to buy off low-level Taliban foot soldiers with cash and make peace with some Taliban leaders by offering them government positions." Personally, I think Karzai is a crook, and so are the Pakistani military and their government. They are the reason why Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar are still around. They are toying with the U.S. Karzai is sitting back and enjoying the U.S. and NATO protection, reconstruction projects at the U.S. expense, while at the same time exploring new relationship with the U.S. enemy Iran. Pakistan is accepting a lot of money from the U.S. with the promise of helping catch the big fish that got away. Instead of catching the one thousand pound blue fin, they have only turned up a few sardines here and there to keep the U.S. happy. In the process, they make such a big deal out of these insignificant small catches and publicize their celebration. What a joke!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  25. Ron Jackson

    The hell with political correctness for today...

    General Hamid Gul's personal resume is one stained with murder. The man shouldn't be interviewed he should be arrested. The next picture we see shouldn't be of General Hamid Gul laughing and smiling rather his assassination.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  26. m. mizzi

    The Taliban and their Paki protectors are on the run and now their they want to negotiate. They are scum that needs to be hunted down and exterminated. Period. Then the rest of the civilized world can get on with their lives.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  27. Dave

    "The Taliban are nothing more than violent criminals defending their opium crops" – this is the most ignorant comment of them all! The Taliban had all but eradicated opium and under American occupation it has soared to new records! Ask your stupid self why! Religion is the root of all evil! They think we are evil. We think they are evil. Who is right? No one! Both! Total hateful morons here!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  28. vacdepman

    I have never understood how a "War Against Terror" has morphed into a "War Against the Taliban". As far as I know no Taliban has done any terrorism outside Afganistan.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  29. kk

    this is rediculous, we're going to negotiate with these people!! Have we all forgotten what happened on sept 11?? No, take him out back, put him on his knees and put two in his head

    March 12, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  30. Kate

    The Taliban are close to extinction. Let them negotiate with whoever they call their God. Their time has come!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  31. Brian

    Lots of people posting comments who think they know more than the guy who helped CREATE the Taliban. I guess they think that because he is from Pakistan that he is dumb? How stupid is that?

    Might be smart to LISTEN to someone who knows what he is talking about–via almost 30 years of direct experience, rather than suggest you know something about something you have no clue about.

    Just a thought!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  32. JohnRJ08

    Mullah Omar is a pig of a man who would prevent young girls from being educated and would have them whipped or stoned for showing their faces in public. He's a relic from the Dark Ages. How in God's name would it do Afghans any good to talk to this creature? This is the same guy who allowed Al Qaeda to set up training camps in his country and who refused to turn Osama Bin Laden over to the United States after the attacks on September 11th. Talk to him? Omar should be captured, taken up 10,000 feet in a helicopter and pushed out the door.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  33. Zia

    I am very confident Taliban Warriors can bash American Nerds and Puffs thousands of miles back to USA, If they haven't already done so. It clearly is in the interests of American invaders to beg for negotiations with Mullah Mohammed Omar to salvage any honourable exit, thanks to Mr Gul facilitating. As Taliban warrior's demostrated against the Russians, the desire to battle to the death is something no man can match!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  34. Davernh

    To whomever is concerned, I do see a couple of ways out of this conflict, and my hope is that the best choice is the least bloody. I believe "Negotiate we must" and I think our state department, military commanders and president should try. For those of you whom would infer that "If the US sends a negotiating team to meet with Taliban leadership" will dishonor our soldiers in uniform, I think not. Least bloody is better for everyone and peaceful quick resolution is best for the People of all war torn regions as well as every American collective futures. "I hope" we hear soon that all war will be ending soon.
    After reading some of these posts, My feeling is somewhat dim right now on the sentiment expressed on this issue.

    I understand the outrage about Afgahn women.
    It is the Afghan women whom need to rise up similar to that of US Women of OLD.

    Hang on there troops, thanks for doing your jobs, Good speed for your safe return.

    PS. As an 45 yr old Navy Vet sitting on the sidelines I want everyone to contribute as they can things to make troops deployments better?

    jeff B, be sure buddy, that a few cases of beef jerky are coming your way from Carroll County New Hampshire for you and your mates.

    US Navy Vet

    March 12, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  35. Pheadrus

    C'mon people. Follow the money.

    The Taliban are nothing more than violent criminals defending their opium crops... no different than the Mexican drug cartels or, to a lesser extent, the Mafia in Italy or the Mob in New York City. Where the latter examples prefer to own the government, the Taliban prefers to be the government. But make no mistake... it's all about the massive opium production.

    Any conciliatory talks between the parties would no doubt result with the Taliban in control of the opium production and a 'legitimate' government, paid for with opium profits, in charge of the country.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  36. Stetson Payne

    I'm all for talking with the Taliban. They harbored Bin Laden, and they will know where he may be. And besides, let them have a party in the government. I think the Taliban are tired of being hunted down for a person who runs and hides. If they will negotiate, then negotiate. Pakistan is willing to, Karzai is willing to, but it is OUR troops who have to fight, and THEIR civilians who end up dying. Pick which side of the fence to be on, and roll with it.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  37. Marc

    I don't see anything wrong with having a sit down with the enemy. It's happened in every war and it's how wars were always ended. The problem is that there are some people with special interest that don't want this war to end because it's benefiting them. And unfortunately, those people are pretty high up the ranks. But I'm sure something would come out of a sit down. This would give us the opportunity to really understand what we're doing wrong.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  38. Sniper

    You don't negotiate with evil. You exterminate them and send them to Hell. Omar will face God's judgment and will be forever cast into eternal damnation with the rest of his lot.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  39. Greg

    While I condemn the acts of atrocities committed by the Taliban in the name of “God”, I cannot condone the senseless killing of innocents by anyone, Christian, Jew or Muslim. The only real path to peace is for the Islamic community itself to finally say enough is enough. Once Islam has it own reaffirmation, they can move forward and join the rest of the civilized world. You cannot force someone to believe something they do not want to believe. I have read many comments saying that the gun is the answer but we must be careful least we become what we despise.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  40. David

    Wow. I just can't put into words the ill-informed comments I see here. All I see is a never ending war that our grandkids will still be fighing. We will lose 100s of thousands of our young people to satisfy our revenge. The sad part is, even if we eradicate them, we'll find an excuse to start killing someone else. There's always a good excuse.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  41. Rob in Texas

    I'm wary of any talks with the Taliban. They've shown themselves to be dishonorable in the past and may use this meeting as a chance to blow somebody up.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  42. Dhani

    I think it is better to interrogate Mr. Gul to get more info about Mullah Omar. This guy is not only associated with Taliban, but also with Al-Quida. US should put pressure on Pakistan to hand over Mr. Gul to the US first. Once it is done it is easy to trace all the other terrorists who are being sheltered by this guy.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  43. Abbin Antony

    Americans paid to train them and now paying to get rid of them ... lol

    March 12, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  44. Sniffit

    Brilliant "greek engr"!!! Let's make Omar a martyr, further strain relations and provide yet more motivation for the Taliban to recruit and support terrorism. That's the best idea I've heard all day. Besides, what would this top Pakistani general and spy who helped create the Taliban know. After all, he's muslim, brown and has a moustache, so he must be a complete imbecile. Yeehaw!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  45. Mike

    You Americans are your own worst enemy. You never learn from the history. English, Russians and now you are trying to conquer Afganistan. It will never happen. You will lose and this will be your another Vietnam. More soldiers will die and you will pull out without fixing anything.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  46. Dan Lafayette,IN

    The Taliban is a terror network, they have terrorized the nation when they were in power. They would shoot women in the head out in public to terrorize the female population. Their Laws and punishment for breaking those laws are against peoples human rights and should be looked at before any talks are made. They should be held accountable for what they did before 9/11 which was helping al-Qaeda and allowing them to train terrorists within Afghanistan. I would tell Omar that he does not matter anymore and his destiny is in hell!

    March 12, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  47. WC

    The Pakistani army has been protecting the Talibans all along. How can we trust them?

    March 12, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  48. mike

    It is sad how ignorant most of these posts are. Do any of you even know the difference between Al Quaeda and the Taliban? Because if you did you would know that Osama Bin Laden has no affiliation with the Taliban. He was given sanctuary in Afghanistan in the late 90's because he was expelled from Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The Taliban government protected him because of all the work he did for veterans and schools after the cold war.

    The Taliban, while an extreme Islamic government is not the problem, it is not an evil government organization. Al Quaeda is the evil, terrorist organization and is actually rooted in Pakistan.

    Do some homework before you bring your garbage banter in here.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  49. Bob James

    They are all scumbags. I say forget the civilians and nuke the whole place aiming for Omar. I am actually serious. When are we going to learn. They are nuts over there and we cant keep doing this. They fight dirty so lets just get it over with. OR, we stop buying their oil, and let them grow lettuce in a desert and they wont be able to fund anything. But that would be too simple for our politicians since the mideast would pull their $$$ out of our market and make it collapse and stop loaning our broke country money. THIS is why....wake up people...

    March 12, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  50. Jayford

    I'm sorry. There is NO negotiation with terrorists. END of STORY. PERIOD!

    March 12, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  51. D. Bass

    Usually I take an aggressive stance re: Islamic extremists. But I have to play devil's advocate here. Isn't it worth a temporary time-out just to talk a bit? Think about it. How many American and allied forces' lives would be spared during this short period? Not to mention all of those fine soldiers & marines who have lost limbs, eyes etc. So many families have been destroyed by these losses. Let's take a chance on negotiations...with no preconditions on either side. However, the negotiators on our side have to be smart, have their
    B.S. meters at the ready and be able to detect two-faced lies when they hear them. If this happens, the military has to do what it has to do to make sure Al
    Qaeda has no opportunity to establish a comfortable home base again. You can't negotiate with religious lunatics. If they won't compromise & adapt, it's time for them to DIE.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  52. RM

    Negotiations are what you ask for when you are losing. Now that the vermin are under serious pressure, they feel they need a break. Destroy them completely.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  53. Kb Wardak

    READ "MY LIFE WITH THE TALIBAN" and learn the history of these people before you speak of what is seen on the media. There is no need of trying to have a meeting with the leaders and instead impose sharia law in the government placed by hamid karzia backed by the Americans. Imposing the laws of Islam in the government now is an indirect way of negotiating with the Taliban. "Afghanistan would have gotten a lot better by now if the Taliban had sought peace the first time around"...THE FIRST TIME AROUND? read the history of these people and how they began there group and keep in mind the situation they were in at the time the group formed. As a citizen of this country I am proud to say that my taxes has gone to some roads, bridges, schools, and clinics built in Afghanistan but will always take note that there has been more harm then good in Afghanistan. By the way what ever happened to the American who flew a PLANE into a BUILDING?...

    March 12, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  54. Bubba

    Well, if we had gone into Afghanistan following 9/11 with our own forces, instead pf relying on the militia's (The Northern Alliance) to do our ground fighting, we would have gotten both Omar and Osama in the Tora Bora battle. Because the enemy wanted to have tea and a time-out in the fighting, the Afghan forces stopped pounding them due to some ancient customs. This gave Omar and Osama the break they needed to escape into Pakistan in the first place. We wouldn't be having this discussion now. Plus if we'd put our force into Afghanistan, which had international support, instead of the Iraq follies, we'd be a lot better off today.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  55. renobill

    Yes, by all means start talks with them. If anyone can bring peace to the region it would be Obama. Of course, our war party will try to stop it as they always do.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  56. harrymohan

    Hamid Gul is a mad man, terrorist himself and supports terrorism openly in the form of Jehad! He along with ISI are fooling Americans by giving them about whereabouts of Taliban and Al quieda at the same time giving Talibans the whereabout of American armed forces hence Casulaties! He is not to be trusted (period)

    March 12, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  57. Berny

    Taliban did not say they want to talk. US of A wants to talk. Some people here don’t listen to what US Govt. is saying for crying out loud. It is America who wants to negotiate its way out of Afghanistan because it cannot afford to stay in Afghanistan any more. Alqaeeda wants to destroy America financially. And Bush became Osama (one of Bush’s family friends actually) Program Manager. Bush executed Osama Plan and invaded Afghanistan.

    Taliban are knuckle heads. They never negotiate. Either you agree to their terms or you don’t. They would rather have themselves killed rather than to negotiate any thing. Frozen Brains indeed.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  58. benny

    Of-course the Taliban wants peace now as they have no safe-haven anywhere how are they to put in the offer of talks- is thru the creater of Frankestien himself.
    Go-Obama-Go, do the right thing and do not let them regroup, re-resource, and re-arm and repeat the harassment of the world at a later date.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  59. chris

    I agree– talk is ok but keep the pressure on them--when they get tired of getting killed they may want to talk– The US is always ok with that....

    March 12, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  60. Afghan

    I am from Afghanistan living in America now. I can tell you from experience that you cannot negotiate with animals. It is like trying to reason with a dog. How can you expect to have a conversation with a dog? Talibs are animals. THE TALIBAN MUST BE EXTERMINATED. IT IS THE ONLY WAY!!

    March 12, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  61. VIJAY

    with love and peace you can win the heart and with war only land, peace is only way and war- no way

    March 12, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  62. Girish

    This is a ex-general speaking and advising the civilized world on what to do. Taliban, Omar, Hamid and Osama all has same meaning to us. They are the bacterias. The problem can only be resolved by eradicating them by ANY means. And that will be done, please wait and see. This guy is asking time for them as being the creator, saviour and lately being their mouth piece. Hamid, go and have parties with them. Your as well their destruction is near and eminent.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  63. JT

    Of course, it would NOT be an issue as to whether or not we had to negotiate with OMAR, if the U.S. had not STUPIDLY made the decision to hang back during the war and let the Afgahni forces take the lead.......when they had Omar TOTALLY SURROUNDED, and Omar ended up bribing some of the Afghan commanders to let him escape, and of course he has not been seen since.

    Forget the Politically Correct "sensitive" stuff, and just prosecute the war, get it done and don't worry about what anyone thinks of us.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  64. Ann

    The Taliban are clearly terrorists – there is no argument – they throw acid in the faces of little girls for attending school, they beat, disfigure and murder women for any 'disobedience' to their religious-based 'laws' and they keep women imprisoned in their homes unless accompanied by a male relative and completely covered by the burkha.
    They must be defeated not accepted.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  65. Dave

    Amazing what hateful people there are here. Most of you seem worse than the jihadists. America has become full of corruption, hate and the desire to kill anyone not of a like mindset! Religions is the root of all evil. We have no business in anyone else's country while the financial elite screw the people in other as well as our own country. America should not be the policeman of the world just to benefit our MI complex corporations. Wake up people and see that you are being lied to and are succumbing to these hate campaigns. No wonder most of the rest of the world is disgusted by Americans. The US has killed so many innocents along with those they were after. Most were people just like us. What you do if they were over here fighting and your family got wiped out in the cross fire? Note the Taliban had eliminated the opium production and now production has soared to new records under US occupation. There is a reason for that. Think about it! Don't believe everything your are spoon fed on your TV...

    March 12, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  66. kevin

    No negotiation with Taliban and Terrorists. To end the war, we should cut the food supplies and water supplies. Block all the border. Let them them die or surrender. War is cruel, if there is victim in civilian, it's too bad. they should not live in that area.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  67. Insane1

    The only solution for the talitrash is the solution that Ataturk had for extemists in Turkey. He invited them to a feast and then shot them all. this was in the 1920s (I believe) and now look at Turkey

    March 12, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  68. Scorpionking45

    Iran needs to turn over Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri.....

    March 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  69. Girish

    First of all you, Hamnid, is the Taliban head. Second, no civilized country would ever talk to anybody with extremist ideology. Third, your idea created a messed up broken country like Pakistan, and so result speaks for itself. Fourth, if you mean TALK WITH MOUTH as same as TALK WITH GUN, may be, but that is our prerogative not yours. So keep your mouth shut until you yourself is exploded by Taliban bomb. Count yuor fingers. Bye bye.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  70. Rick

    One shot – One kill... that will solve the problem. I really do despise those typing in these forums blaming the US for the actions of the Taliban saying we are occupiers, etc. If it wasn't for the Taliban training terrorists, beheading afghanistan citizens and foreigners and all that other BS, we wouldn't be in Afghanistan. Stop trying to defend terrorists...

    March 12, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  71. Scorpionking45

    Mullah Omar needs to be in Guantanmo Bay and in front of a Military Court as an accessory to the Murders of the People who died on 9/11......NO EXCEPTIONS!!

    March 12, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  72. Graham

    What will we gain by fighting?
    Just who is it that goes out to fight, not the people who are making the decisions but the poor innocent people who stand up for their countries. Why should innocent people be subjected to the possibility of death for the sake of some idiot who thinks that a battle will cure everything. How many innocent civilians have been killed due to the so called good guys bombing buildings where there "may" be a Taliban general. What is the use of that. We are becoming as bad as they are and all in the name of GOOD.
    I dont think battles should be faught with soilders, they do not deserve to die because of one persons decisions.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  73. Summer Seale

    Saying that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization is like saying that the SS was simply just another military unit and not involved in war crimes.

    The only talking we should do with the Taliban, if we don't kill them, is when we read the charges against their leaders as they are forced to stand in the dock.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  74. Roberto

    AQ alledgedly launched the attacks. 95% of the were Saudis Wahabbis. They financed madrasas to teach religion to the young generation. How come we are friends with them? Is call oil. Afghanistan and Irak allows us to stay real close and hug the oil fields. It has nothing to do with 911 like we all think. If you think Talibans are bad think again, the Wahabbis are the most virulent sect. It is so rigid that a female caught driving a car gets shot on site, no questions asked. This whole war deal is all screwed up from the beginning. Is all geopolitics and positioning to reach scarse resources during this century. They should tell us the truth.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  75. joel palmer

    Now they want to talk.

    We're killing them in ever increasing numbers so they wave the white flag? Mow em down

    March 12, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  76. AN

    For pete's sake!!! Wake up and smell the coffee, if someone says peace talks will work – just give that damn thing a try before more young solders are made to pay the ultimate price for the ego of a select few!! The Taliban is not the Al-Kaida / Osama machine, then why does the American govt. want to even interfere there. If it is 9/11 justice, catch Osama Bin Laden and prosecute him leave the rest for others to handle and let our solders come home – ALIVE!!!

    March 12, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  77. MRP

    Gul is the same person who has motivated and encouraged both Taliban and the terrorists operating in the Indian territory. The bottom line is Taliban sustained, trained and nourished AQ in Afghanistan. They are as guilty as OBL and clan. Negotiating with the top leadership will send out a VERY wrong message. Low-rung operatives can be talked to and turned, but not people who are in commanding positions within AQ and Taliban. They deserve to be captured or killed.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  78. J

    Talk with Omar? Are you crazy? Yeah, like talking with him after 9/11 happened produced results? People like him and other hard core Taliban members never negotiate in good faith and NEVER keep their word. The only way to talk with Omar and other hard core Taliban members is to KILL them, then their terrorist ways will come to and end. Oh, and don't call the Taliban terrorists? What kind of government did they impose on the people of Afghanistan – one that completely crushed all human rights! You don't talk to people like that – you KILL them or LOCK THEM UP! The only thing they understand is force. WAKE UP!!!

    March 12, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  79. Roberto

    Who trained the Taliban? Who was its boss back in the cold war? CIA. What goes around comes around.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  80. John

    First off, they are terrorists! Second they are human rights abusers, they treat there woman like garbage. I see no reason to talk to garbage like them. They only believe in themselves and will blow up, shoot, kill, murder, destroy, anything they feel is not right including innocent woman and children. To me that describes terrorist 100%.
    They have admitted to terrorists acts and attacks so they are terrorists.
    I think this Hamid Gul needs to have his head examined. The only thing these terrorist know is killing innocent people just because they feel like it that day.
    We don't need to talk anymore, we tried that, they refused or want conditions that are totally outragious.They had there chance, now it's time to wipe them out, we don't need this kind of garbage on the planet. They brought this on themselves, it's time to stop it once and for all!
    Afganistan would have gotten a lot better by now if the Taliban had sought peace the first time around. But you can't deal with this kind of garbage.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  81. Berny

    General Hamid Gul is controversial due to his involvement both with CIA and Mujahdeen during 80s. But he is not father of Taliban, not at all. Taliban came into being long after he left ISI and Army. Mullah Omar is father of Taliban

    March 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  82. Renee

    You can call someone a terrorist if they bomb innocent people for political purposes. Omar should be electrocuted like Sacco and Vanzetti were for bombing Boston. Gul is a stooge.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  83. Corpsman2370

    The more times that they get their butts kicked, lose money, power, and physical resources, or just get tired of being hunted to death, Shiek Omar may begin to change his attitude. Its better to be an alive power base than become part of the great Afghan fertilizer project along the Pakistani border.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  84. English Teacher

    We just had a "spy" turn his guns on our soldiers in America. You'd have to give me a lot of proof that this guy is on the right side before I'd trust him with my life.

    My gut says, don't negotiate. Don't give in. Keep fighting as long as they keep killing innoncent people.

    "No shred of evidence is available that they were involved in any terrorist activity."? You have to be kidding me. They claim responsibility for suicide attacks all the time!

    March 12, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  85. Kolawole Ajao

    A dialogue with Omar might mean going back to your vomit.If Washington wants an absolutely peaceful Afghanistan,that is out of the way.You only try to bring him in if he is willing to come so that a lifelong deal can be brokered between Omar and Karzai and Washington itself.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  86. crim

    One thing he (gul) said I totally agree with. Taliban should not be called terrorist. I always thought that was wrong. Whether we agreed or not with their philosophy, they were a form of government, that harbored Osama, yet two different entities.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  87. Michael

    Excuse me? Not terrorists? Moslem fascists seeking to impose archaic Mohammedan cult laws on the populace is as terrifying a situation as I can see. Engaging them is as good as condoning stoning women to death for begin raped, banning girls from going to school, and worst of all, allowing any nation to be governed by the principles of a superstitious work of fiction. Why don't we hand our own country over to the Scientologists, for that matter?

    All religions should be closely regulated. Any religion that has not shown an ability to evolve or assimilate, or has rituals that are counter to civilized law, should be banned. Freedom of religion guarantees you the right to practice your religion in private, but in no way should it be shielded from the progress of the human race.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  88. akp

    It will be shame if we negotiate with Mulla Omar. Taliban should never raise again for the atrocities they committed against its own people. Afghanistan, under Taliban, will impose Sharia laws that will take them back to their golden era.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  89. Duncan

    There are only 2 sure ways to end a conflict like this.. 1) the complete destruction of the enemy. For this, you have to ignore civilian casualties and go all out.. or 2) talk. The continued belief that we can win a lasting peace against these groups without talking to them is stupid and truly ignorant. How did the British solve the Northern Island conflict? Talk. How did the British win the Falklands war? Destruction of the enemy.

    in the Afgan case, since you can't find the enemy, then you need to talk with them.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  90. goher

    Talk to him with a bullet!

    March 12, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |

    Our condition is simple – Osama's head or your (Omar's) head!

    There is no point of beating around the bush. Obama (not Bush) is tough, smart & effective. Remember the ocean pirates?

    March 12, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  92. David

    These are not people you "talk" with unless you are talking to them with a M.O.A.B. or a Daisy Cutter – These are people you weed out and exterminate. They are NOT going to change their views of the west. They will continuously be a problem.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  93. Gk Arthur

    Dear Sir,
    It is very easy to blame Taliban or Alkadia for the terrible crimes to date.But what about the crimes done to these people and their followers. The Vietnam war should have been a lesson to all, you cannot fight the will of the people. Let it be and and let the peoples live the way the want to be. Do not try to change the life style of the suppressed when they do not want changes. You used these people to fight your own war games during the cold war period and you think that you can rule them with your super power warfare. The most difficult situation is you cannot tell who is loyal to you as they maybe under the gun by the opposition. Wars do not make money anymore but builds anger universally especially amoungst the suppressed. You deal with the crimes of the ruling powers against the masses before you can gain an inch of victory.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  94. Joel Speller

    The Taliban have popular support, you have to negotiate with them. The US continues to try to force a military solution to all it's Foreign policy issues. The isolationist policy we have had with Cuba certainly has not worked.
    Afghanistan is not Vietnam but there are a lot of simularities, a conventional Army fighting a battle against unconventional forces that can blend right in with the population. We could have buried everyone in Afghanistan in silver dollars by now.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  95. Airman Snuffy

    Of course I read this as a rocket attack on my base is happening...

    March 12, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  96. Mark, NY

    No negotiations with Omar. That would be an insult to the thousands of American and 80 other nationalities who were killed in the twin towers.
    He have Bin Laden refuge to plan the attacks and build his organization and for that he gets a bullet in the head and not a cup of tea and comfortable chair at a negotiation table.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  97. Art H

    The wolf giving advice to the hens on how to secure their cage to "protect" them from him (effectively to leave the cage unlatched, so that he can get at them at will) ! This fellow is the true embodiment of evil. He is the creator of these Taliban nasties and now that the heat is on them, he wants us to negotiate with them, so that they will gain some breathing room to resume their tricks at a later date.

    Of course we would be advised to keep on hammering away at these ugly characters until they are swiftly sent home to their maker. Essentially allow the same "breathing room" that this fellow seeks for the Taliban, to the common Afghan people, so that they can in turn get back to life in the 21st century and free of the influence of these Neanderthals who would love to take the country back several centuries.

    Absolutely no negotiation or "breathing room" for the Taliban, please !

    March 12, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  98. MikeJ in Statesville

    I don't know – he probably has a bomb in his underwear.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  99. Roy R. Rowlands

    Only if both sides want peace and are willing to give and take and in the situation I don't think it is possible because of Osama Bin Laden being responsible for the world trade center attack, America can not let that man go unpunished and therefore is the problem. He and Mullah Omar are arm in amr or brohers in amrs.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  100. geek engr

    The Taliban are scumbags not worthy of negotiation. The better solution is to capture or kill Omar. If he is so important, then doing so should bring their existence to an end.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
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