Taliban say (yet again) they’re not talking

More talk of talk between the Taliban (or other bad guy) elements and the Afghan government, this time in the Maldives:

Rival Afghan figures have held a final day of unofficial talks in the Maldives islands, aimed at resolving the continuing crisis in Afghanistan. The meeting at the Paradise tourist resort island took place on Thursday and Friday and involved around 25 opposition representatives, an official Maldivian source told AFP news agency. Representives from the Taliban and the Afghan government attended the talks ….

Even the Office of the President of the Maldives has confirmed talks:

The Government of Maldives confirms that talks are being held this week in the Maldives between Afghan lawmakers and representatives from groups opposed to the Afghan government …. The Government of Maldives has no involvement in the talks. We cannot disclose the location of the talks, although we can confirm that they are not being held in Male’ or other population centres. All the representatives involved in the talks are holding valid passports and visas. None of the representatives involved in the talks are listed in UN or other international travel blacklists. Maldivian security and intelligence agencies have been fully informed of the talks. Afghanistan’s stability affects the peace and security of our region. The Government of Maldives supports efforts to bring a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan ….

It didn’t take long for the Taliban Info-machine to deny (again) any back-and-forth (official English version via pro-jihadi web page here, PDF at Scribd.com here):

Some media outlets have once again published a report about talks between representatives of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Kabul surrogate Administration. This is the same previous baseless rumors which are now being repeated anew …. some media outlets play their subservient role to the invading and tyrant forces by publishing these fatuous rumors, ostensibly in the name of performing journalistic obligation. They have reported that the delegation of the Islamic Emirate has participated in Maldives talks which are against the ground realities.

In the past, Taliban denials have claimed that anyone purporting to be talking on the Taliban’s behalf, well, just wasn’t:

If some irresponsible persons presumably participated in the said meeting in the name of the Islamic Emirate, they can’t be considered as representatives of the Islamic Emirate but it might have happened that some opportunists cashed in on the moribund condition of the enemy.

This time, though, the statement is quite specific — these guys may be former Taliban members who are now working with the government.

Those persons who participated in the Maldives meeting in the name of envoys of the Islamic Emirate, are, in fact, persons who have already surrendered to Karzai Administration and are currently active members of the State organs of the Surrogate Administration or members of puppet State intelligence department. Foreign invaders utilize their former positions and portfolios, to use them as paid recruits. They are members of Karzai administration rather than envoys of the Islamic Emirate. Their participation in such meetings emanates from their economic and political constraints and is never aimed at solving the current issue of Afghanistan.

And we know what happens to those helping Karzai and Co. — from their latest offensive kick-off announcement earlier this month:

The Al-Faath operations will target …. members of the Karzai stooge administrations and members of the cabinet, members of the parliament, personnel of the so-called ministry of defense, intelligence department, ministry of justice, ministry of internal affairs …. all supporters of foreign invaders who are working for the strengthening of foreign domination.

Could this be sending a message to Taliban teammates thinking of ‘talking’ to the Afghan government side or NATO? Ah, but wait — who allegedly organized this get-together? This from Al Jazeera English:

The meeting was organised by Jarir Hekmatyar, the son-in-law of Gulbudin Hekmatyar, an Afghan regional commander and leader of the Hezb-e-Islami party. Gulbudin Hekmatyar is considered to be one of Afghanistan’s most wanted men and only sent his son, Feroz, to represent him.

Maybe that is who the Taliban want to look like the bad guy.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.



Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram