Karzai: Talk to Mullah Omar; Mutwakkil: Taliban would Break with al-Qaeda; Indo-Pak Rivalry in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the United States to back talks between his government and Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban.

Former Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil says that if a negotiated peace could be reached between the Karzai government and the Taliban, the latter would abandon their vague alliance with al-Qaeda (via USG Open Source Center, “Former Taleban minister describes Obama’s new Afghan strategy contradictory,” Afghan Islamic Press, Sunday, December 6, 2009):

“On the one hand, the foreigners claim about efforts for ensuring peace in Afghanistan, but they deploy more troops to the country on the other. These two issues are contradictory and will not have any other results but extension of war and fighting. . .

The AIP asked Motawakkil that the US and other foreigners have problems with Al-Qa’idah, therefore, is it possible for the Taleban to separate themselves from Al-Qa’idah?

He answered: The relation between the Taleban and Al-Qa’idah was similar to the relation between a host and a guest in the past. Now they are like two war partners. When an easy way to solving the problem is found, no one will go after the difficult solution; therefore, peace will be ensured. This will also end their war partnership. There will be no need for the Taleban to stand in the same row with the Al-Qa’idah.

Motawakkil explicitly said: No foreigner has the right to take part in determining the Afghans’ destiny, because it is only the Afghans’ right to decide about Afghanistan’s system and future.

Motawakkil further said: At the moment, distrust is a big problem between the current government and the Taleban and as long as the two sides do not trust each other, there will be no development in peace talks.

Aljazeera English reports on the rivalry in Afghanistan between India and Pakistan, which helps destabilize the latter:

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4 Responses

  1. The great Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, has expressed great concerns about the current US pressure for India to send Indian troops into Afghanistan to replace the US troops. Roy believes this is the exit strategy Obama will use to lessen the US troop levels. Roy was additionally concerned about India's history of always trying to please America and thus might agree to send Indian troops to fight the American's war.

  2. AQ's primary value to the Taliban is as a force multiplier; e.g., the increase in the number of and the killing power of IEDs.

    The Sunni insurgency in Iraq used AQ in the same way until they became a liability.

    And while I don't have any real appreciation for the traditional guest-host relationship among Muslims, I sense it is being exploited by the those seeking an extended occupation to argue that a Taliban victory is ipso facto an AQ victory.

    Hard to imagine inviting back a house guest who burned down the house the last time he was in town.

    Practically speaking, if the Taliban did take over the government (again), one of the few countries likely to recognize them, and more importantly, provide them development money would be Saudi Arabia. Can't imagine they wouldn't make such assistance conditional– i.e. requiring the Talibanan to sever all ties with SA's mortal enemy.

  3. Leaving Afghanistan to Taliban conquest would destabilize Pakistan even more than splitting the Taliban and defeating militarily those who will not negoitate. I hope that you are not under the illusion (so comforting to the pacifist hippies that read this blog) that all NATO has to do is decamp and India make some concessions on Kashmir for the ISI to give up on Taliban control of part or all of Afghanistan. Get real, Dr. Cole! The use of force is necessary to marginalize those who are dead set opposed to national and regional negotiations happening and to development projects in which international forces play a positive role getting off the ground. No peace without force. The ISI will have to be made to live with a government that it cannot control. Think of it this way: what sane sovereign government in Kabul would not seek closer ties with dynamic India than failing Pakistan? Too bad that the ISI cannot live with that. That's why we have international law.

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