There are reports of attacks on the consultative jirga being held in Afghanistan starting today (more on that in initial reports from AFP, AP, Reuters, Canada’s CanWest news service, Germany’s DPA wire service and the BBC). There have also been recent media reports of targeted assassinations of pro-jirga elders.
The holding of jirgas is an integral cultural and traditional characteristic of the Afghans. They have solved many of their problems through this prideful institution. However, this is only possible when the jirga is convened by the Afghans, on the wants of their Afghan willpower and is aimed at solving the problems of the Afghans themselves.
In this statement, the Taliban info-machine clearly wants you to think this jirga is all in aid of the wrong parties:
The holding of the so-called National Consultative Jirga under the name of peace is a part of the failed efforts of the invading Americans and their surrogates in Afghanistan …. they have launched drive for convening this phony jirga to provide stuff for consumption by the American and world public …. every effort by the invading foreigners including the convening of the jirga which is now being carried out on the demand of and under the shadow of the foreign troops is, in fact, aimed at securing the interests of the foreigners.
Continuing in this vein, the Taliban seek to discredit the participation of Afghans in the jirga:
All the participants of the Jirga are persons affiliated with the invaders and their powerless stooge administration in one way or the other. They are on the payroll of the invaders and work for their interests. Neither they are elders of the people, nor they represent the Afghan Mujahid people.
And what Taliban statement would be complete without boilerplate ‘get outta here foreign troops’:
This so-called consultative jirga has no power of decision to compel foreign invading forces pull out of the country but it is convened with an aim of ensuring conditions for the continuation of presence of the invaders in Afghanistan. It has not been convened to ask the invading forces to leave the country. Therefore, the participants of the jirga are actually supporters of the foreign interference, not the true envoys of the people.
and ‘we’re gonna win’ messaging?
The Islamic Emirate will confront the illegitimate and unlawful decisions of the Jirga by continuing the Islamic Jihad; will struggle for establishment of an independent Islamic system; will force the foreign invaders to accept a true and pragmatic solution of the issue and will, thus, put an end to the painful tragedy of the people., if God willing. This is not a hard task for Allah to perform.
The Taliban’s main message here: ‘If they’re not with us, they’re against us, so they’re fair game.’
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