Taliban ‘negotiator’ Abdullah Aziz appears with armed guards


Maulana Abdullah Aziz, one of the two clerics who led the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, insurrection in Islamabad in 2007, and who is now a negotiator for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in current “peace talks” with the government, appeared yesterday on a Pakistani TV press conference.

Aziz, who has been acquitted several times in the past by Pakistani courts for inciting a rebellion and other various charges, is seen seated in front of three AK-47-wielding bodyguards. Apparently, appearing with gun-toting heavies is considered a good thing when conducting peace negotiations with the Pakistani government.

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan chose Aziz and other pro-Taliban clerics to negotiate on their behalf with the government. Aziz has said the government’s demand to negotiate under the framework of the constitution is a non-starter, as the Taliban don’t recognize the document. Aziz, like the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, al Qaeda, and other jihadist groups which which he is allied, wants the government to implement sharia, or Islamic Law.

One other ironic aspect of the negotiations: representatives of the negotiators are meeting with the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in North Waziristan, according to Dawn. And the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan’s shura, or executive council, “had already convened a meeting of its supreme Shura at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan.”

Why is that ironic? Because in 2009, as part of a “peace deal,” nonaligned Taliban groups in North and South Waziristan, such as the Haqqani Network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Mullah Nazir groups, agreed not to shelter or support the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan or al Qaeda in exchange for a promise by the Pakistani military to leave their areas untouched by an army offensive. As we’ve documented numerous times here at The Long War Journal, the Haqqani Network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Mullah Nazir groups never lived up to their side of the agreement, but the government and military have still given them a pass.

But wait, that’s not all. Former Interior Minister and now Senator Rehman Malik is saying that negotiations with the Taliban are illegal under the constitution. From Dawn:

“Aren’t we violating the law and the constitution by holding talks with a banned organisation? What will happen if tomorrow someone goes to the Supreme Court?” asked Mr Malik while speaking on a point of order in Senate on Friday.

He said that under Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, talks could not be held with outlawed outfits.

“Sections 11A and 11B clearly say that you can’t sit and talk with banned organisations,” he said.

Malik goes on to state that the Taliban merely use negotiations to regroup and retool, and never respect the terms of peace deals. Malik is correct. But this never stopped the government he served from negotiating with the Taliban.

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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  • Devendra Sood says:

    This charade will not go on too much longer. How can you negotiate with murderers of innocent children and women? People like Maulana Aziz, Shami Ul Haq and Fazlur Rehman are illiterate, demented varmin wanting to live and drag the rest of Pakistan in to the barbaric 7th century Islam whose Sharia calls for amputating the hands of a thief just for stealing even a loaf of bread and stoning to death the man and woman for adultery. THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE BEAUTIES OF THE SHARIA. THE LIST IS TOO LONG OF SUCH BEAUTIES IN THE SHARIA BUT I AM AFRAID PEOPLE WILL WRETCH IF I COUNTED THEM ALL HERE. That is the Sharia these craven Mullahs want and abolish the Constitution of Pakistan. In the Islamic courts, obviously headed by these critters or like them who are absolutely ignorant of the civil laws of the 21st century; will pass judgements which will absolute.
    Where Muslim men will be free to have FOUR wives and divorce any of their wives just by saying divorce (Talak) three times. And, the beauty of it is they don’t have to provide any support to the divorced spouse or share in any joint property developed during marriage by their combined efforts. And, the most beautiful part of Sharia is that the man will keep the children. the wife has no rights to the children after the divorce.
    These Taliban appointed Mullah negotiators have already declared that unless the Government accepts Sharia the negotiations are a non-starter.
    Oh! One more thing. Isn’t Maulana Aziz the same Mullah who tried to escape in a Burka pretending to be woman when General Musharraf sent the army to the Red Mosque to evict these murderers. What a brave man or should I say “woman” this Maulana Aziz is.

  • The Right says:

    @Devendra Sood,
    where did u learn about islam? where do u learn about something usually? It seems that u dont know anything about islam from its own sources. Stop reproducing the cliches u picked up in western media etc. First of all study Islam from its own sources.
    On the other hand, what about the innocent men, women and children which the democracy killed? in iraq, in afghanistan, in somalia, all over the muslim world? Minimum 100 times more, than the people killed who u call murderers/terrorists. That is something u dont want to mention. Cause this is collateral damage right?!

  • Neonmeat says:

    “Aziz has said the government’s demand to negotiate under the framework of the constitution is a non-starter”
    Then why is he even there. What a load of absolute lunacy.
    The Pakistani people will get sold out again by their Government which seems unable or more likely unwilling to take a stand against these militant groups that control vast swathes of their territory.
    At least Senator Malik appears to have his eyes open, but it doesn’t seem to be a common sentiment.

  • naresh c. says:

    Pakistani establishment wants to distinguish between Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban. It wants to support Afghan Taliban but fight Pakistani Taliban. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut difference between the two talibans except in the warped minds of Pakistani generals with a Pan-Islamist agenda. There in lies the reason why Pakistan cannot fight with Taliban head on. In reality, Taliban is a feudal organization of many fraternal groups trying to establish a Taliban superstate in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    As for Rehman Malik, he was the interior minister when Zardari government negotiated with the same Mullah Fazlullah in Swat with disastrous results. Amongst his many comical press meets, the funniest was when he compared Taliban who attacked an air base in Karachi to characters from Star Wars.


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