Taliban denies it is in ‘secret talks’ with NATO

The Taliban denied today that any of its representatives were in “secret talks” with Afghan, NATO or US officials. Yet again, the Taliban stated that it will only negotiate peace after US and NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

Today’s statement was attributed to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, and was published on Voice of Jihad, the group’s official website that is published in five languages — English, Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, and Urdu.

“We reject the mentioned claim and emphasize that no such secret process exists,” Zabihullah stated. He then postulated that Afghan officials may be negotiating with Taliban impostors.

“But it is entirely plausible that some supposed Mujahideen faces or materialistic persons could have tricked the desperate and nescient Kabul regime into believing they are Mujahideen representatives. This however is a different issue and such people have no relations with the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate,” he said.

Zabihullah’s assertion that Afghan officials may be negotiating with sham Taliban is not as far fetched as it seems. In 2010, Afghan and US officials thought they were negotiating with Mullah Mansour, who at the time was the deputy to then Taliban emir Mulla Omar (Mansour replaced Omar as Taliban Emir after he died in 2013). The would-be Mansour even met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai before he was discovered to be a charlatan.

US officials, including General David Petraeus, cited the meeting as a sign of the willingness of the Taliban to talk. Instead, the phony Mansour disappeared after taking a large sum of money. For more background on this hoax, see Taliban Leader in Secret Talks Was an Impostor, from The New York Times.

Zabihullah was also clear that the Taliban insists on US and NATO withdrawal before any negotiations were to occur, and that those involved with negotiations must accept the “ground realities.”

“The Islamic Emirate once again makes it abundantly clear that the fundamental solution to the Afghan imbroglio lies in the withdrawal of occupying forces from Afghanistan and accepting ground realities,” Zabihullah said.

The Taliban has been clear what constitutes the ground realities: it will not share power with an Afghan government it considers to be illegitimate and un-Islamic, and views itself, via its government, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the only legitimate representative of the Afghan people. The Taliban has consistently maintained these positions for well over a decade, and its actions match its words. They are realities that the US, NATO and Afghan officials have failed to accept or believe.

Full text of the Taliban statement follows:

Remarks by Spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning claims by NATO civilian representative

Yesterday the NATO Senior Civilian Representative Cornelius Zimmerman declared to the media that that unofficial talks continue to take place with the Islamic Emirate.

We reject the mentioned claim and emphasize that no such secret process exists. But it is entirely plausible that some supposed Mujahideen faces or materialistic persons could have tricked the desperate and nescient Kabul regime into believing they are Mujahideen representatives. This however is a different issue and such people have no relations with the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate. Following similar remarks by US general Nicholson a few days earlier, the Islamic Emirate also clarified at the time that they do not believe in secret talks and neither is anything of such nature taking place with anyone anywhere.

The heads of NATO and America are making such baseless assertions in order to keep the public busy and divert their attention away from ground realities and their own failures in Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate once again makes it abundantly clear that the fundamental solution to the Afghan imbroglio lies in the withdrawal of occupying forces from Afghanistan and accepting ground realities.

Making false claims can provide short-lived propaganda benefits but it only complicates the issue and can only be interpreted as the running away of occupying enemy from acknowledging core issues.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

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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5 Comments

  • Nikhil Deshmukh says:

    The ground reality is that Afghanistan is an inconsequential entity in world trade and also now in world politics so boo to the Taliban they can keep their backward culture and grow as many poppies as they want no body cares anymore. and heroin is passe Thailand makes much better drugs including ecstasy etc so no money no honey for them.

  • Paddy Singh says:

    The Yankees are quite satisfied to sit with their ear plugs on, but say what they want to only reassure themselves, for the world does not believe them and are aware of what will happen in Afghanistan – the Taliban will rule again. In any case the Afghan puppets placed by the Yanks govern just a third to Kabul in the country.

  • Dennis says:

    Now that its been cleared up, will the afgan-us-NATO people shut up about supposed “talks” ? Probably not. Hard to understand why afgan gov. would press issue so much, or why us military would back such unsubstantiated drivel.

  • Nikhil Deshmukh says:

    History has shown that you cannot have artificially propped governments or rule by proxy, Afghanistan is the only place where this phenomena now exists in the 21st Century even the pacific Islanders and the smallest African Governments have their own representation and their own interpretation of democracy it is not right for the west to deny this to the Afghans if they wish to live in the 15th Century like Iran or most of the Islamic world then so be it. lesson being that the sooner the west cuts its losses and runs from this place the better .

  • Observer 1 says:

    Paddy Singh – puppets?
    You know not of what you speak.
    Yanks?
    What millennium are you in?
    When you say “Americans” which of the 325,000,000 are you referring to?
    Blaming a country is passe. Look at the huge corporations if you want to see who controls what, and why.
    And don’t forget Europe – which is running scared and violating its own conventions simply to keep “Afghans” from settling within its borders. . . . not because they think Afghans are American puppets.
    Don’t get me wrong, there is enough evil to go around when it comes to this war – just that no one entity can claim victory, and no one entity is responsible.
    There has been more news on Taliban wanting to speak with the U.S. btw Bill. Still a ruse?

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