Taliban to Pakistan – “you don’t own us”…
By Tim Foxley
A humorous but revealing postscript to my previous post – the Taliban respond to the news report about Salahuddin Rabbani’s criticism of the Pakistani government for not doing enough to help push the Taliban into dialogue. I had noted the comment previously but hadn’t thought to highlight it. In response to the criticisms in the article, apparently Pakistan’s views in their defence were represented in the Reuters report as follows:
Pakistan says it supports a peace agreement, and points out that it allowed some Taliban to travel to the Gulf this year. But it says wider support is required among Afghans before real peace talks can take place, while both the U.S. and Taliban positions are plagued by ambiguity.
This has been noted by the Taliban, who have responded immediately and somewhat tersely :
Remarks of Islamic Emirate regarding the statement of Pakistani ambassador in KabulThursday, 08 Sya’ban 1433
Thursday, 28 June 2012 17:01
On Tuesday the 26/06/2012, some media outlets published excerpts from the interview of Pakistani ambassador in Kabul, Mr. Muhammad Saddiq, which he conducted with Reuters News Agency. The said person remarked in his interview that Pakistan gave permission to the Taliban to go to Qatar. We would like to once categorically state that the representatives of Islamic Emirate did not go to Qatar with the permission of Pakistan and maybe the mentioned ambassador does not have information regarding this matter.
The Islamic Emirate is completely free and independent in all of its affairs. It makes decisions of its own likings in all matters and affairs in light of Islamic principles and national interests. The preliminary and confidence-building talks done by the representatives of Islamic Emirate with those of United States of America in Qatar were initiated and then halted under the order of its leader.
The Islamic Emirate urges all related parties to make truthful comments regarding concerned affairs.
I guess full marks to the Taliban media team for spotting this and responding. It just gives a little more weight to my point that if the Afghan protagonists could work something out between themselves they wouldn’t have to put up with so much negative external influence. Afghanistan could choose not to be a victim. Otherwise, at the moment the Afghans blames Pakistan for not pushing the Taliban and Pakistan blames the Afghans for failing to generate wider support for talks – a recipe for nothing happening…