Taliban reject peace talks

Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban’s “Leader of the Faithful.”

The Taliban have once again rejected overtures by the Afghan government and international community to negotiate a peace settlement to the Afghan war and reconcile with the government.

The Taliban’s leadership council dismissed the reconciliation efforts and the upcoming London Conference in a statement just released on its English-language website, The Voice of Jihad.

Avoiding any discussion of compromise, the Taliban leadership council called for “the full withdrawal of the invading forces,” the release of all prisoners from Afghan, Pakistani, and US jails, and the removal of all names from the United Nations terrorist sanctions list.

The Taliban said they had no intentions of negotiating with the Afghan government, which they described as “traffickers of intoxications items, human rights violators, corrupt persons, national traitors and usurpers of people private properties.” Instead, Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, seeks to reinstall the Islamic Emirate.

“It is worth mentioning that the leader of the faithful Mullah Mohammad Omar (May Allah protect him) has clearly said that we want an Islamic rule in our country,” the statement read.

The Taliban reiterated a claim made last year that they have no intention of attacking neighboring countries and will not permit attacks on foreign countries from their soil.

The Taliban released the statement as the international community and the Afghan government are holding talks on reconciliation at the London Conference. The Afghan government is seeking international support, including $1 billion in donations, to fund reconciliation and reintegration of local Taliban fighters, and to support high-level talks with the Taliban leadership.

But the Taliban statement dismissed these efforts as “ploys and stratagems” to divide the Taliban, and said the Taliban are not fighting for money:

Some time, they announce that they will provide money, employment and opportunity to have a comfortable life abroad, for those Mujahideen who agree to part ways with Jihad. They think that Mujahideen have taken up arms to gain money or grab power or were compelled to turn to arms. This is baseless and futile. Had the aim of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate been obtainment of material goals, they would accept dominance of the invaders in the first place and would have supported them. Every thing was in their hand, comfortable life, money and power.”

Over the past three years, the Taliban leadership have repeatedly rejected calls for negotiations and reconciliation with the Afghan government [see LWJ reports “Taliban mock West for calling Afghanistan unwinnable” and “Taliban deny reports of negotiations with Afghan government“). Instead, the Taliban have turned the calls for talks into propaganda and claimed the talks are a sign of weakness.

The Taliban have denied conducting negotiations with the Afghan government and the West, and have denounced those who claimed to be negotiating in their names. The most prominent name that always comes up in these so-called negotiations is Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister who broke ranks after Omar refused to hand over Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks. In 2002 he claimed he sent an aide to warn the US of the Sept. 11 attacks but was ignored.

Mutawakil surrendered to the US in February 2002 without seeking approval from the senior Taliban leadership. He was detained by the US and then placed under house arrest in Kabul. The Taliban ejected Mutawakil from the movement in 2003, saying he “does not represent our will.” Mutawakil contested the elections in 2005.

Mutawakil has been behind numerous failed attempts to promote reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “He is probably sincere but just completely powerless,” a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

Just today, the United Nations removed Mutawakil and four other former Taliban leaders who had reconciled with the Afghan government long ago from the sanctions list. Also removed with Mutawakil was Abdul Hakim Munib, who is the current governor of Uruzgan province. Munib was one of several ‘Taliban leaders’ who went to the Maldives last weekend to conduct secret negotiations with the Afghan government.

The son of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was also reported to have been at the Maldives meeting. Hekmatyar leads a faction of the Hezb-e-Islami that fights the Afghan government and the West and has allied with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Since 2002, the US and Afghan governments have sought to draw Hekmatyar away from the insurgency, without success.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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20 Comments

  • Paul says:

    Good…the US never wanted them in the first place. We are content to and determined to liquidate the Taliban anyway. Pakistan must really fear the taliban.

  • Anonymous says:

    before any peace or reconciliation with the taliban can occur,the following must happen:
    1.) elimination of mullah omar and other irreconcilable and ideological i.e. al qaeda-compromised taliban leadership
    2.) replacement of the karzai regime with a less corrupt and more legitimate government
    3.) strengthening of afghan police and military
    without the above prerequisites, the US is negotiating from a position of weakness and the taliban along with all of the other enemies of the west are aware of this

  • don juice says:

    why was the warning ignored? thats the type of stuff that conspiracy theorist would take out of this article and claim 9/11 was a inside job….look,if they think afghanistan going back to islamic sharia law days where they invited every and any scumbag terrorist in the nation well they wrong…either they abide by the afghan constitution or they gonna perish in combat operations..simple, its their call

  • Jay says:

    A good way to put some sense into Pakistan military is to step up support to Balochistan separatists and surgically to some Pakistan Taliban elements through proxies(though it conducted Chapman attack) to heat things up in Pakistan. This would be a good measure to disincentive Pak intelligence continuing covert support to QST,Haqqanis and Heqmatiyar. Regarding Heqmatiyar since Saudis are involved in protecting him..supporting Houdis in Yemen..is a good idea..
    Iran needs to be co-opted either by hook-or-crook..a regime change. Since Saudis hav the Nukes through Pakis..Israel’s security is already in danger..Iran’s nuke aspirations are Sunni-countries+US centric rather than against Israel.A US-Israel-Iran alliance is the need of the hour to confront Wahabi terror.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    Somebody should inform Richard Holbrooke

  • m3fd2002 says:

    This was predictable. Even if the Taliban knew they were being hammered, they would state the same. However, this time, they believe what they are saying, due to President Obama’s statements about troop withdrawal. They truly have a sense of pending victory.

  • My2cents says:

    People, we should be more polite about the Taliban leadership council in our discussion here.
    After all, how often have we had an enemy so honest about positions? Surely we should honor them for that.
    Which is not to say that we should not destroy them and their organization by any and all means available.

  • Paul says:

    would it be fair to say the Taliban’s position is at it’s highest @ this moment?

  • Doug Hylton says:

    In many ways the Taliban have already lost the battle in Afghanistan. Modern technology has been introduced in Afghanistan in many areas that cannot be reversed. Even the Taliban use cell phones and watch TV. The genie cannot be returned to the bottle and the people will not accept a fourteen century philosophy. There has to be a compromise on both sides.

  • leciat says:

    doug, afghanistan before the taliban was modern, women were educated, had jobs and dressed in western style clothes, they had tvs and telephones and music. they did not accept 14th century philosophy it was brutally forced on them and if we leave this will happen again.
    i don’t care what anyone says, the only good taliban is a dead taliban

  • Zeissa says:

    I agree twocents… blut und ehre!

  • Zeissa says:

    Although I do not think their being honest for once means they are normally honest. Plus they’re still disgusting.
    Doug, the Taliban don’t have anything against cell phones, just TV. Anyway if they take control they’d limit TV except to gather intel.

  • John Abraham says:

    Zeissa,
    Cell phones these days can be used to listen to music and also watch videos. Both are against Taliban values.
    Now there is an oxymoron, Taliban values.

  • Doug Hylton says:

    We must stop with the policy of killing people who don’t agree with us. Look at the government in other Moslem countries even the best of them would fail our standards of democracy. We have a poor track record of installing western style democracy in other countries and there are many other places that need work like Somalia and Iran. Let’s find an honorable way to get out of Afghanistan and let the Afghanis govern.

  • Spooky says:

    Balochistan is key. Tell the Pakistanis that they should let America take out the Shura in Quetta and that America will PERSONALLY pay for any civillian damages if they are wrong. If they do not comply, threaten to bring up Balochistan in the UN…
    And if threatening them with the Balochistan stick is the wrong lever, one could always pull the “We can always go to India” card, which is what I think was ultimately the point of Gates going there. Even if Pakistan doesn’t let them cross their airspace, the Chinese will (yes India and China have their own skeletons to deal with, but they also have a significantly better relationship. Enough for economic relations at least).
    The Pakistan Army’s obession with control of the state and with India is going to eventually break this nation. Already its economy is being subsidized by foreign investors (Chiefly the US, Middle East, and China, for vastly different reasons), its people are apathetic to the unpopular government. The place is one communist revolution away from ending up like Nepal, which is itself a hairsbreath away from Indian annexation. Think about THEM apples.

  • Render says:

    Dougie 
    “We must stop with the policy of killing people who don’t agree with us.”

  • T Ruth says:

    Spooky
    I agree with your assessment and i would tend to agree with your remark about the indians using Chinese airspace, until i read this article about a possible Chinese military base in Pakistan
    //timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-mulls-setting-up-military-base-in-Pakistan/articleshow/5510235.cms
    Don’t forget ‘their” port, Gwadar is in Baluchistan.
    What about Iran?
    About a communist revolution, do you mean
    that or are you referring to a revolution?

  • Spooky says:

    Actually, nevermind about the Chinese. I forgot that India already has an airbase in Tajikistan, so they already have an established air route from the motherland to there, if they managed that. That just nails the point further that India can probably act as the better asset, especially since Russia also trusts them.
    China is also more pragmatic than Pakistan is and would likely throw Islamabad under the bus in exchange for stability in Xinjiang, where Talib-related elements are inciting seperatism. So I could see an arrangement being made eventually, though now it may not be so necessary, in lieu of the Tajik base.

  • SER says:

    Dear Dougie
    You asked for a link of wrongdoing. Here it comes
    //www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LA30Df01.html
    This is the reason why you are losing the war in Afghanistan.
    2. Governments of muslim countries
    Yes the governments in the arabic world for the most part fail miserably at our standard of democracy. So why do you still support them? Why do you still give strong support to the Saudis? Why do you support Egypt? Why not work for democracy there?
    3. Which democracies have you installed? I can name a couple of countries where you crushed a democracy. Iran 1953. Guatemala 1954. Argentina 1973. You are not alone with this kind of politics. Russia, Britain and the big countries all play this game.

  • Render says:

    Nothing like watching the other team score an own goal on the first kick…
    ===
    SER – “Dear Dougie
    You asked for a link of wrongdoing.”

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