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Talking with the Taliban

11 October, 2008

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A new excitement is building up in the international media regarding Afghanistan. There are numerous reports that the Afghan government is currently holding talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia. These talks are reportedly brokered by Saudi Arabia, blessed by the US government/NATO countries and mediated by Nawaz Sharif, the ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan.

This latest hype throws up a few questions that beg answers.

  • Do these talks indicate that the United States and NATO countries now have a genuine change of heart for the betterment of Afghan people or is it that they are unable to defeat the Taliban in the battlefield?
  • For the talks to succeed, the Taliban have put an absolute precondition of all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan. Would the Coalition Forces agree to that?
  • There is one example in the past of similar efforts that failed. In 2007, British and Taliban forces agreed to leave Musa Qalah in Helmand province and hand the authority back to the local tribal leaders. It didn`t take long for the Taliban to return in full strength. What says that this time around the strategy will work and in time produce durable peace in Afghanistan?
  • Reader Comments:

    Afghan peace is in the air

    Here is my poem from Canada as such:

    AFGHAN PEACE IS IN THE AIR


    BETTER TO TALK AND NOT BARK
    AND ONE NEED NOT BARK OR BITE
    FOLLOW FACTS,GET OUT OF DARK
    WON'T RESOLVE IT IF WE FIGHT

    GETTING TOUGH N MORE TO BLEED
    AND FOR THAT WE AINT GOT NEED
    TALK TO TALIBAN, SEE ALL SAY
    PEACE IS BETTER AND ONLY HEED

    INDIAN SPOILS OF MONKEY RIDE
    AND WHISPERS IN MIGHTY'S EARS
    HAS DAMAGED AMERICA'S PRIDE
    BESIDES BLEEDING OVER YEARS

    TALK TO TALIBAN, PEACE SAKE
    DON'T BELIEVE IN BITING SNAKE
    MONKEY RIDING AMERICA'S BACK
    INDIA WILL ADVISE ATTACK

    WHY ATTACK WHEN PEACE BE DONE
    WITHOUT FIGHTING, WITHOUT GUN
    THOSE ADVISING FOR THE WAR
    WORLD WAR THREE PROMOTORS,ARE

    LOVE PEACE, AND U WILL FIND
    ALL HUMANITY WILL BE KIND
    LOVE AND PEACE YOU'LL TEACH
    SO TO PEOPLE YOU WILL REACH



    Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 04 November, 2008

    Mullah Omar has a special place in the Kingdom of Allah, when Judgement Day comes and men are shown where they differed, the world will finally realize that.....

    is that jahannum


    , Pakistan - 06 November, 2008

    taliban

    islam is in danger and to save it we muslims finish taliban before we are killed and wipedout

    rao shaik, Hungary - 11 November, 2008

    Obama and Paks

    Pakistan is not judging or looking at people as good or bad people.Paks are looking for people and countries that can help and redress and mitigate the losses incurred due to Paks getting caught in the crossfires of big and mighty powers use and misuse of Paks geo-strategy.

    Pak people have sanguine hopes in Obama's very opening address to the world as such:

    "We want peace for all."

    And Paks will languish in love for that peace promised by Obama.And Paks friends in need are committing money to cover most if not all of what is required to steer Pakistan out of this global economic crunch.For Paks, there were added miseries from one adversary,who even financed the suicidal bombings by exploiting the naive people.

    Obama has paid more attention to Paks compared to this adversary and the world and Indian press is ruffling its feathers of anxiety about what excited Obama more about smaller Pakistan than very large India.Never mind, geo-stratigically Paks are located and positioned at much more important threshold than any other country.

    Anyway,Paks do want to deserve the peace mindset of Obama.There are limitations, constrictions and constraints for Obama as well.China and Russia and india are in fixed and constrained binding as well with hands tied.It is not easy for any body,and peace and economic business with honest and sincere hearts are the only ways to extricate mankind out of this mess.

    The stock markets of America and the world have been negative in the early stages of Obama's victory.NYSE has lost over 1000 points in the past six days, but the real test of stock market and related financial upswings will be judged from christmas and or new year rallies.It is usually wishy washy in November to mid december any ways.

    LET US WAT AND HOPE FOR THE CHRISTMAS AND OR NEW YEAR RALLIES.THESE RALLIES WILL GIVE THE LEAD TIME OF 8-10 MONTHS FOR THE ECONOMIES TO LIFT OFF AGAIN.

    OBAMA IS SENDING PEACE MESSAGES TO IRAN.IT IS VERY MUCH GUARDED PEACE IN THE PERSIAN GULF AND ALL ARE AVOIDING HOSTILITIES.PEACE IN PERSIAN GULF AND NEIGHBOUR HOOD THAT IS PAKISTAN IS VERY ESSENTIAL FOR IRAN,FOR PAKISTAN,FOR AMERICA AND FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.THEY CAN CREATE FINANCIAL SUPPORT PACKAGES, RESCUE PACKAGES FOR THE ECONOMIES,TIGHTEN THE BELTS AND REDRESS THE LOSSES.BUT, IF THERE IS WAR IN MIDDLE EAST AND AMERICA'S AND THE WEST'S CAR CULTURE GETS SHUT DOWN,THERE JUST WON'T BE ANY REDRESS OR EVEN EASY FIX.IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFELINES OF WORLD'S ENERGY AND FINANCIAL SURVIVAL AND PEACE IS REQUIRED AROUND THERE AND IN NEIGHBOUR HOOD PAKISTAN,WHICH IS THE CONFLUENCE ON THE ENERGY LINKS BETWEEN THE USERS AND THE SELLERS.

    SO,OBAMA,AMERICA AND THE WORLD DOES CARE FOR PAK PEACE AND THEY HAVE EVEN CREATED FRIENDS OF PAKISTAN CLUB.SO FAR,SAUDI ARABIA, CHINA,IRAN AND TURKEY HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL WITH MONEY AND MORAL SUPPORT.THESE FRIENDS WILL COVER MOST IF NOT ALL THE HELP TO THEIR BROTHERS IN PAKISTAN AND IT IS ALL PROMISED AND COMMITTED NOW.THERE WILL BE LEFT SOME OPEN WINDOW FOR IMF TO MAKE THE HELP PROCESS MORE BROAD,COMPLETE WITH WIDENING SUPPORT OF GLOBAL SPREAD.BUT,KEY AND MOST AND PILLARS LIKE HELP FOR PAKS IS BEING INITIATED AND PROPAGATED FROM THE BASE OF FOUR NAMED I.E SAUDI ARABIA, CHINA,IRAN AND TURKEY.EVEN IMF IS COMING TO PAKS WITH SMILES WHILE HOLDING BACK ANY OF ITS OTHERWISE TOUGH MEASURES.AND THAT IS OK TOO IF PAK DEFENSE AND POLICIES ARE LEFT IN CONTROL OF PAKS.

    AND EVERY BODY IS REMINDING EVERY BODY WITH KINDNESS TO PAKS.EVERY BODY IS NOT PUTTING ANY BLAME ON PAKS AS THE FINANCIAL CRUNCH IS WORLD WIDE AND PAKS HAD TO TAKE THE HARD SIDE DUE TO WAR LIKE SITUATION AROUND AND SOME INSIDE PAKISTAN.NO BODY IS BLAMING PAKISTAN AS PAKS ARE PROVING THEMSELVES WORLD FRIENDLY.

    PAKS HAVE NOT ONLY TO BE PEACE PRODDED,BUT NEED FINANCE REPAIRS AS WELL.NONE OF THESE PAK CIRCUMSTANCES ARE THE MAKINGS OF PAKS OWN.PAKS HAPPENED TO BE CAUGHT BETWEEN THE GRINDING WHEELS OF OTHER'S PROBLEMS AND THAT IS THE REASON THAT THE ENTIRE WORLD HAS SHOWN KINDNESS TO THE NOBLE PAKS.

    NOW PAKS HAVE TO DEVELOPE FINANCIAL HELP BASES WITH ALL THE WORLD.PAKISTAN WILL HAVE TO FACILITATE CHINA AND BECOME ENERGY CONDUIT BETWEEN MIDDLE EAST AND CHINA.PAKS HAVE TO ASK EAST AND THE WEST TO DEVELOPE THE GRAND COAL RESERVES THAT HAVE EXPENSIVE LIGNITE OR METALLURGICAL COAL AS WELL AS THERMAL COAL FOR POWER GENERATION.CHINA PRODUCES ALMOST HALF OF WORLD'S STEEL AND IS ALL SET TO BOOST ITS OIL REFINING CAPACITY FROM 8 MBPD TO 12 MBPD.CHINA IS MOVING INTO SUPER POWER STATUS WITH COMPARABLE 12 MBPD OIL REFINING COMPARED TO AMERICA'S 20 MBPD IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS.THE WORLD WILL NEED TO SPEND 26 TRILLION DOLLARS TO UPGRADE THE WORLD'S OIL AND GAS AND COAL RESERVES BY 2030 AND CHINA WILL CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN HALF OF IT THROUGH ITS 2 TRILLION PLUS CURRENT FOREX RESERVES AND GROWING AND WITH ITS TRADE SURPLUS OF OVER 12 TRILLION DOLLARS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS.

    AND PEACE LIKE OBAMA SAID IS MUST.




    Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 13 November, 2008

    Talking with the Taliban

    Talking with the Taliban is doomed to failure because: A)
    The U.S. wants to give powerful Taliban warlords money and put their forces under their command -like it did with the Sunni insurgents
    in Ambar province in Iraq. Then it will create an intelligence apparatus with a complete database of who is loyal -and who is not- to the U.S. interests under the CIA control, and B) Create a secret Counter-Intelligence Unit [similar to the death squads it operated in Latin America for 50 years], and start killing those who deem not loyal to the U.S. interests. It will probably called euphemistically "The
    Alliance Pacification Plan,"
    or something similar. The killing will be covered under
    various pretexts, like Drug
    Trafficking, Resisting Arrest,
    Killed in a Tribal Dispute, Shot at a Squad Serving a Warrant, or other various excuses to maintain a good public image for the killing squad, and others will simply disappear from the face of the earth.

    Lets not forget that John Negreponte, the current U.S. Undersecretary of State, came to Pakistan after the Pakistani elections
    to tell the elected Pakistani government what to do, and he
    made it clear that the U.S.
    was not interested in Nawaz Sharif's idea of negotiating
    with the Taliban. His statement: "You cannot talk to people like that [the Taliban]." What that statement meant in undiplomatic terms? "We don't want to talk to them; we want to kill them!" And John Negreponte is the top U.S. expert in killing those opposing the U.S. He was U.S. ambassador to Honduras, and became famous as the organizer of U.S. death squads
    in Latin America. And the fact
    that he was appointed as the top U.S. diplomat to deal with the Taliban makes it clear that the U.S. policy in
    Afghanistan and Pakistan is elimination of the Taliban - not negotiating with them. Negotiation is the bait to trick the Taliban with money into a C.I.A.
    clearing-house database, and then start wiping them out with clandestine and undercover operations. The U.S. doesn't see the Taliban as civilized people that it can negotiate with seriously.
    They see the Taliban as savages, sub-human, or "Jihadists" as Ronald Rumsfeld openly declared.

    The U.S. Joint Chief of Staff,
    Admiral Mullen, said last September that "We [the U.S.] cannot kill our way to victory," [with the Taliban].
    And a few days later, U.S. General Petraeus said: "You don't kill or capture your way to victory out of an industrial strength insurgency." Both statements mean that the U.S. does not expect to win the war against the Taliban by continuing to fight them as it does now. How
    to subdue the Taliban then?
    You ambush them with a negotiating trick.

    Does it sound like the ancient Greeks besieging Troy, and realizing that they cannot get in -unless they devise some ingenious trick? Well, the Greeks devised the Trojan Horse. Now, the U.S.
    feels that it cannot win the war against the Taliban, and its Trojan Horse is the "Negotiation ploy." And if the Taliban accept the U.S. Trojan Horse, they will be corrupted with bribes and pro-American informers, and they will be wiped out like the defenders of Troy.

    The Taliban should continue to fight like the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong did until victory. If the U.S. wants to negotiate seriously, the negotiation should be on two points ONLY!
    1. The U.S. leaves Afghanistan unconditionally, and pay war reparations, and compensation for civilians killed. 2. The Taliban guarantees to the U.S. that
    they will not carry any hostile act against the U.S., nor will they allow any outsiders to use their country for attacks against the U.S. It will be peace with dignity for both sides.
    Nikos Retsos, retired professor and anti-war activist

    Nikos Retsos, retired academic, United Kingdom - 16 November, 2008

    JIHAD is the right way

    484 ayat are on JIHAD, kis kisko chorogay, surah anfal, al e imran, baqara, tauba, zumur,muhammad/qital etc

    Fawad, Pakistan - 19 November, 2008

    Response

    The United States is the country that only responds to power and recognises those only who it does not become able to subdue. It did a lot against Talibans and was dedicated to finish them but now is becoming compelled to talk because of their tough resistance.
    Pakistan will not be able to get to a sound solution of own problems unless and untill it carries on not its own decisions.

    Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 28 November, 2008

    you r all bromides

    9 11 was the day they started killing muslims at large scale the final crusade began...no true investigations were made not even yet ...where are the weapons of MASS DISTRUCTION yet u wiped out sunis from iraq...u murderors ...60,000+ ton uranium used in iraq along with white phosphorus yet no accountability for that ....u western pigs call that justice ...shame on u and shame on ur free damned world ....inshALLAH jessus PBUH is comming soon to finish u off...just wait ...

    Reminder, Pakistan - 03 December, 2008

    Please can some talk about what they want to achive

    It's nice to hear different point of views some practicle and some god knows how they think and why. I was reading article from this gentlemen below discusing rule of islam and its benefits to find he himself lives in holand under christian rule which i find amusing( i am not pro or against any relegion or race myself). I was thought that your are in trouble when start lying to yourself casue there is no one to blame anymore. Why the hell don't people just get on with thier lives and make good of themselves individually cause i like to belive that's what allah wants you and me to do is to contribute to society for collective good of mankind with our deeds and responsibilities all these talks and theories will not take anyone anywhere anyways.

    vishal Kumar gupta, Hungary - 04 December, 2008

    The bad elements or deadly terrorists would never come to dialogue but there are some progressive people who would opt for this, this option can be excercised with them. The deadly or hard core terrorists need to be handled with all forces at your discposal.

    Saquib Hussain, Hungary - 11 February, 2009

    Talking With the Taliban

    Mullah Omar has repeatedly said he will talk with Karzai and negotiate a peace treaty when and if and only if foreign forces are removed from the land. There was no problem in Pakistan until foreign forces came and started killing people with drones. Faqir (from TTP)has said there would be peace in Waziristan in five minutes once US forces leave. Was there fighting before US forces came?

    gina, United Kingdom - 18 January, 2010

    Where is Mullah Omar

    I have heard no 'propaganda' about Mullah Omar and I live in the U.S. I have heard opinion news programs with pundits who attempt to guess where the Mullah is, but no one that I have heard has said he is definitely in Quetta.

    The PakTribune's question includes the word the 'betterment' of the Afghan people. Rule by Mullah Omar will result in the 'betterment' of the Afghan people?

    I wish some of you would read Mullah Omar's history. Please read how he and the Taliban ruled over Afghanistan before you write of the 'betterment' of the Afghan people.

    Uh, Gina. Do you really live in America? No matter.

    Do you really think those who go around deliberately blowing up marketplaces and mosques and flogging women if a bit of skin on her wrist shows below the sleeve of her burqa, would treat anyone with kindness? Would Mullah Omar create a government that will do what it's supposed to do, i.e. serve the people?

    However, I realze that to you America is far more evil than Mullah Omar and his Taliban. I really don't think America wants to create a war between the Taliban and al Qaeda but it's an interesting thought. Actually, we just don't want al Qaeda's fanatics to blow us up again. If you live in America, you have to know that's true. If you live in America you know about the man who tried to blow up flight 253 on Christmas day.

    Ideology is a chilling, killing thing. It creates a blindness that can never be cured.







    Ayasha, United Kingdom - 27 January, 2010

    The Talibans message

    Did anyone notice that the killer of Rabbani said he was bringing him a message from the Taliban? We now all know what that message was. The Taliban are thugs and murderers and will kill anyone who wants to talk about peace.
    clearly no one can negotiate with them.

    Eddie dex, - 24 September, 2011

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