Have the Taliban Really Rejected al Qaeda?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years ago

Regular readers of The Captain’s Journal know that we oppose negotiations with the Taliban (just as we opposed the deal with Mullah Abdul Salaam for Musa Qala). But Hamid Karzai has prostrated himself before Mullah Omar, beseeching him to stop the violence.

On the first day of Id al-Fitr, President Hamid Karzai had a great treat in store for his people. In a speech he said: “A few days ago I pleaded with the leader of the Taliban, telling him ‘My brother, my dear, come back to your homeland. Come back and work for peace, for the good of the Afghan people. Stop this business of brothers killing brothers’.” My brother? My dear? Yes, and yes again. Karzai is an Afghan version of the metrosexual man. He sometimes even cries publicly, though that’s not to everyone’s taste.

A large dose of wishful thinking has gone into this notion that the Taliban are actually negotiating with Kabul, or rather, that any meaningful representatives of the Taliban are negotiating on behalf of the Taliban. In fact, there are some fairly compelling denials that this is occurring. “Zabeeh Ullah, spokesman of Mullah Umar has said that Taliban has no relation[ship] to negotiations with Afghan government. He termed it as an attempt by Afghan government to create differences between Talibans. He said that Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef, Moulvi Abdul Wakeel Mutawakal and Maulana Rehmani were not their representatives.” Furthermore, the idea that Mullah Omar would willingly choose to negotiate with Hamid Karzai stands in stark contrast to his history, even his recent history. In a recent al Qaeda video commemorating the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Mullah Omar’s spokesman promises more large scale attacks.

Finally, the NEA Foundation has recently translated a fairly succinct but informative message from the Taliban.

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful … The mainstream media is reporting about a ‘peace process’ between the Taliban and the Kabul puppet administration which is being sponsored by Saudi Arabia and supported by Britain – or, alternatively, that there are ‘unprecedented talks’ taking place involving a senior ex-Taliban member who is traveling between Kabul and alleged bases used by Taliban senior leadership figures in Pakistan.

The Shura Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) considers such baseless rumors as part of the failed efforts by our enemies to create distrust and doubts among Afghans, other nations, and the mujahideen. No official member of the Taliban – now or in the past – has ever negotiated with the U.S. or the puppet Afghan government. A handful of former Taliban officials who are under house arrest or who have surrendered do not represent the Islamic Emirate. If our fight was for control of ministries and other prominent positions in the puppet administration, then such negotiations would have made sense – but this is not the case. Our struggle is to implement the rules of Allah in Afghanistan by eradicating the enemies of Islam.

A dialogue which is in the interests of Afghanistan and Islam will never be concealed from the nation. Our struggle will continue until the departure of all foreign troops.

In these few paragraphs not only has Omar denounced the idea that there can be negotiations with either the U.S. or Kabul, he also tells us again what his aim is. The Taliban aren’t after cooperation or even high level ministry positions. The existing government in Kabul won’t do.

While even Secretary of Defense Gates has made it clear that there can be compromise with the Taliban, Mullah Omar has said that the same kind of government that existed prior to 9/11 – and that gave sanctuary to al Qaeda – must be implemented in Kabul. Nothing less is acceptable.

Since it take two parties to cooperate, there can be no cooperation.


You are currently reading "Have the Taliban Really Rejected al Qaeda?", entry #1331 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Taliban,Tehrik-i-Taliban and was published October 8th, 2008 by Herschel Smith.

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