January 27, 2012

Taliban diplomats arrive in Qatar

By Ben Farmer, Kabul9:00PM GMT 26 Jan 2012

A team of senior Taliban diplomats has arrived in Qatar in preparation for the opening of a political office to host negotiations between America, the insurgents and the Afghan government.

The envoys from the former regime have assembled in the past month and the first tentative talks could begin within weeks according to former Taliban officials now part of Hamid Karzai's peace council.

A Taliban declaration earlier this month that the movement would open an office "to come to an understanding with other nations" is seen as the most significant political breakthrough in ten years of conflict.

The delegation was apparently granted safe passage to the Gulf state despite several members still being on a United Nations' sanctions blacklist banning international travel.

It includes Tayeb Agha, former secretary to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has acted as go-between with American and German diplomats for more than a year.
He is joined by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former deputy foreign minister, and Shahabuddin Delawar, a former envoy to Riyadh, according to Mohammed Qalamuddin.

Mr Qalamuddin, once chief of the Taliban's "vice and virtue" police, told The Daily Telegraph the envoys were all well-educated, fluent in English and considered moderate, but committed to the movement.

He suggested all had travelled with the knowledge of Nato and the United States, though added Taliban figures were also able to flout travel sanctions easily by using counterfeit passports.

Abdul Hakim Mujahid, deputy leader of the peace council and the Taliban's envoy to the UN at the time of the September 11 attacks, said one of his secretaries from New York, Sohail Shaheen, was also in Qatar.

The delegation was completed by Hafiz Aziz Rahman, the Taliban's third secretary in Abu Dhabi before 2001, who has lived in Qatar for several years.
"He played a very important role in this process," said Mr Mujahid. "They have all moved there," he added.

Western sources confirmed the men were believed to be either in Qatar, or heading there, and the delegation made a "plausible" negotiating team.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, would not comment on the names, but confirmed a "preliminary" delegation was in Qatar.

Diplomats in Kabul have stressed the office is not finally agreed and any resulting talks would likely take years, but have expressed cautious optimism that it may pave the way to a peace process.

By opening the movement to face-to-face scrutiny, they argue it will force the Taliban to articulate their demands and make it harder for them to continue an indiscriminate bombing campaign.

However deep mistrust remains on all sides.Marc Grossman, American special envoy to the region, this week said during a visit to Kabul that he wanted clear statements from the Taliban that they had distanced themselves from international terrorism and were committed to a political settlement.

Others fear the Taliban still calculate they can defeat Nato by simply waiting for troops to withdraw. They argue the office is a ploy to buy time, or that it will only be used for fund-raising in the Gulf.

Davood Moradian, professor of political science at the American University of Afghanistan and a former aide to Mr Karzai, said the West and Afghans "had scored three own goals" by agreeing to it.

"We have given them political space, we have provided them with another source of funding and undermined the anti-Taliban forces," he said.

Mr Karzai's inner circle are suspicious the office is an American attempt to cut a secret deal behind their backs and Kabul withdrew its ambassador to Doha in protest at the lack of consultation.

The Taliban also doubt America is genuine about negotiation, Mr Mujahid said, and have demanded the release of five senior leaders from Guantanamo Bay as a confidence-building measure.

Bloodshed is likely to continue even if the office opens as both Nato and the militants first continue their military campaigns to try and strengthen their bargaining positions.Mr Mujahid said: "I think this is natural. Each side will try to show their superiority on the battlefield. This is the nature of the battlefield and the conflict, that each side try and show itself stronger."


rustom said...

Part 1
Why did the colonisers need to colonise? If we know history, we know the answer and we then know the present and the future and the answer to how come the taliban now is given a legally socially accepted face. The veil of trying to have a 'talking face' of the taliban will be uncovered, cause if one wants to destroy the taliban, the chaos of not having a distinct authority in itself within the taliban will dilute the chanellising of the taliban's energy uniformly.

So why have or infact aid in building a 'taliban leadership"? This question is related to what was the main reason for the coloniser's to colonise? Why infact did one help in making the taliban in the first place.

Economics was the reason the colonisers wanted to colonise. Without colonising, the coloniser's economy would be rumbling southbound. Spanish Armada's maintainence was high yet the acquisitions it made from takeovers like from the Incas not only covered the expenses but also gave profit to the Spanish. Same with the British ,Portugese and the rest of coloniser's.
Look at the earstwhile coloniser's economy as of now. Look at the US Economy as of now. If not negative and southbound, its definately not positive. Europe has the technology , but whats the use of trchnology if there is limited application. Eurofighter, Raffaelle, Hornets etc is a classic example. India's purchasing the fighter aircraft would pump in money for the manufacturer's to stay alive and kicking, in short a defence deal makes or breaks a country;s backbone.
The coloniser's know and have studied the trends that their countries are going to face. The are at some time in recent future going to land at a stage which they were in, when the need to colonise other's had to be done or perish. The question is how does one colonise in the 21st century, definately not without an excuse to do so. Decades earlier one thought they could colonize by business. Set up establishments elsewhere and bring home the profits. it works well till the host country develops its own and much cheaper. Even by taking profits home, it does no good for employment back home. The host countries normally help indigenous production line once set up. So a limited growth.


rustom said...

Part 2...In any case with the standard of living at a peak of the developed nation, it is no easy task to reverse the trend, especially as migrant force is already doing most of the labour jobs. With migrants and non ethinic now becoming the citizens of earstwhile colonisers, it makes it that much harder to go and rule or take over colonies. So how does one survive , keep afloat when colonisation is the only way out.
Create chaos,anarchy, fall of law and order and install an inhumane scenario after the fall of the legitimate Govt. Who else best than the taliban has done this, is doing this and will do it.They cant do it alone and cant do it especially if the worl is against them. Infact they wouldnt be here if their need by the ones who need to take over did not exist. They would not exist if the U.S and NATO didnt want Soviets out of Afghanistan. The taliban dont mind if they get a fundamentalist tag, cause they want to be fundamentalist Islamic. This suits the ones that converted Poland and even ex soviet states from being atehists to Christianity. The fundamentalists attitude of the taliban infact even helps the competitors of the Islamist in the race to convert the world. The taliban's need is not yet over. They will be sent to the ones who were colonised to create anarchy, they will get support from Islamists in the host countries ...all over the world at first, till they chop off nose, ears etc...in the host country...and then the forces of 'Good' with the eagle ; the queen; the likes of spanish armada will be welcomed to deal with the bad taliban. Once again the small voices of ' who created the taliban, who sent them here' will be unheard in the chaos and the colonising process will start over legtimately now with a face of a more tolerant ??? faith who so magnificently used the taliban--effectively.