Statement on Taliban site says they’ll talk, but…

A new statement posted to the Taliban’s Voice of Jihad web page [VOJ version here, PDF at non-terrorist site here] says the group will negotiate (the first time I’ve ever seen it in the past year):

The Islamic Emirate has curtains goals to achieve. They are: 1. Complete independence of the country. 2. Establishment of an Islamic system representing the wants and aspiration of the Afghan people. 3. Progress and prosperity of the country and people. Our first priority is to achieve these goals through talks and negotiation.[emphasis mine]

In spite of appearing to be willing to negotiate, the Taliban remain unimpressed with the conditions for coming into the tent:

Similarly, they put forward conditions, which are tantamount to escalating the war rather than ending it. For example, they want Mujahideen to lay down arms; accept the Constitution and renounce violence. None can name this reconciliation.

In other words, the Taliban are saying ‘we want to talk and negotiate, but we’re not happy with anything you’re offering right now’ – interesting opening gambit, that.

Another point: This is the first time in a while I haven’t seen a call in a signed statement or editorial for getting all foreign troops out of Afghanistan before talking.


But if the invading powers in Afghanistan are not ready to give the Afghans their natural rights which is the right of independence and establishment of a government based on their aspirations and wants, then the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are determined to carry on the fight until the realization of the said goals.

I remain skeptical, based on previous “talks that weren’t talks and/or didn’t happen,” but stay tuned to see what else they say down the road.

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1 Comment

  • Robert says:

    If their statements appear softer in tone, even slightly, it is worth remembering how tough the position of the North Vietnamese government was in 1968 until sustained military pressure bought them to a settlement in 1972, which Thieu rebuked.
    If anyone is interested, I have posted some musings on a shift in Taliban I.E.D tactics on my (anonymous) blog here. It strikes me they are trembling at the coming surge…


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