A big mess

The Blackwater story has somewhat eclipsed the other story from yesterday which was the revelation that the US has been engaged in backchannel talks with senior Taliban. Among the four individuals acting as mediators from the Taliban/Saudi side are Abdullah Azzam’s son-in-law who lives in the UK but maintains close links with the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda as well as the current leader of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Things are pretty dysfunctional when these talks with the Afghan Taliban are continuing in parallel to the seemingly endless debate on troop escalation in Afghanistan to fight the, well, you know, Afghan Taliban. I am reminded of Amrullah Saleh’s blunt assessment of US policy in Afghanistan vis-a-vis Pakistan in the recently aired Frontline documentary on the war. He said, “you cannot incentivize good behavior”. Regardless of the outcome of these talks, we can be certain of one thing and that is that these talks will vindicate every backup plan that the Pakistan army ever came up with regarding the Afghan Taliban.

On a related note, check out this fascinating archive of declassified US government documents on the subject of the Afghan Taliban from 1996-2001.


5 responses to “A big mess

  1. Mr.Tambourine Man

    At best what the US can accomplish by reaching an agreement with the Taliban is a few days of peace. You cannot rely on the Afghan Taliban to keep their word.

    This reminds me of an article on doing business in China. For some Chinese manufacturers agreeing the contract was just the beginning of the negotiation process. They would start using cheap substitutes as raw material, demand more money for better quality, or after finding out how an item is made break the contract and start making knock off’s.

  2. Rabia

    Yeah. It’s interesting that Pakistanis who are now against making deals with the TNSM, TTP are still pushing for a deal with the Afghan Taliban.

  3. Rabia

    also, check out this Eid Greeting by Mullah Omar:
    the part about negotiations with the US is interesting:

    Those who have occupied our country and taken our people as hostage, want to use the stratagem of negotiation like they used the drama of elections for some time in order to achieve their colonialist objectives. The invaders do not want negotiation aimed at granting independence to Afghanistan and ending their invasion but they want negotiation which will prolong their evil process of colonization and occupation. However, the people of Afghanistan will not agree to negotiation which prolongs and legitimatizes the invaders military presence in our beloved country. Afghanistan is our home. No one will ever be ready to negotiate with any one else about ownership of one’s home –still more to give share in administration and control of the home and himself ends up becoming homeless, powerless and servant in his own home.

  4. Mr.Tambourine Man

    Rightfully pointed out. When we negotiate we are collaborating with and sheltering terrorists. When they do it, its a ‘bold new strategy’.

    Which reminds me. There is dire need of professional spin doctors working in our govt.

    @Omars statment

    heh. Hes basically saying that the US are not trustworthy enough to negotiate with (fair enough) which is what we’re saying about the Taliban.

  5. Rabia

    There is dire need of professional spin doctors working in our govt.

    yeah, currently there seems to be NO ONE, basically since Sherry Rehman’s resignation. I don’t understand why and how Qamar Zaman Kaira has been given so many different jobs and from watching his briefings to the press he is utterly useless as Information Minister. This is really important right now because I have this horrible feeling that the entire blame for the Blackwater fiasco is going to fall on the Interior Ministry because the Frontier Corps is nominally under it.

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