The Taliban has released an official statement at its website, Voice of Jihad, to confirm that it has had discussions with Qatar to “establish a political office outside the country” and “has also asked for the release of its prisoners from the Guantanamo prison in exchange basis.” The full text of the statement is below.
The Guardian reported that the “US has agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantánamo Bay in return for the Afghan insurgents’ agreement to open a political office for peace negotiations in Qatar.” Here are the five Taliban leaders that the US is willing to turn over; all have extensive ties to al Qaeda. Note that Thomas Joscelyn pointed out the names of four of the five Taliban leaders in March 2011, long before other news agencies discovered the names last week.
The Hindu noted that the US is utilizing Yusuf al Qaradawi, the radical Muslim Brotherhood cleric who has justified suicide attacks and supported the Iraqi insurgency as well as terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, to negotiate with the Taliban. Qaradawi resides in Qatar.
Statement of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan regarding negotiations
It is a unambiguous reality that the Islamic movement of Taliban arose to establish an Islamic system in Afghanistan, uproot injustice, eradicate narcotics and the local writ of gunmen, strengthen security and to form national unity and with the help of Allah and with the backing and sacrifices of the nation, it was able to eradicate corruption and establish an Islamic government in the various provinces and the capital in a very short period of time. It almost completely eliminated the years of strife and fragmentation in the whole country and was able to bring ninety five percent of the country under the control of the central government. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has always tried to solve the problems with the opposition through talks.
The ongoing issue in the country which came about ten years ago has been between two fundamental elements: on the one side is Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and on the other is the United States of America and its foreign allies.
The stance of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the beginning has been to bring about the end of the invasion of Afghanistan and to let the Afghans establish an Islamic government of their own choosing which does not pose danger to anyone. Through realization and understanding, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has time and again made clear its stance to other nations and has persistently said that the allied nations under the leadership of America will never be able to subdue the Afghans by force in order to realize its aims. We are at the moment, besides our powerful presence inside the country ready to establish a political office outside the country to come to an understanding with other nations and in this series, we have reached an initial agreement with Qatar and other related sides. Islamic Emirate has also asked for the release of its prisoners from the Guantanamo prison in exchange basis.
Apart from this, the perturbing reports spread by some news agencies and western officials about negotiations have no reality and are strongly rejected by Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan