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Taliban reject talks. Again.

March 7, 2016

Summary: The Taliban decide not to take part in peace talks.

Afghan map outline

Back to square one.  Reuters, amongst others, are reporting this news:

Reuters, 5 March 2016: The Taliban said on Saturday it would not take part in peace talks brokered by representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States, casting doubt on efforts to revive negotiations.

The Taliban, ousted from power in a U.S.-led military intervention in 2001, has been waging a violent insurgency to try to topple Afghanistan’s Western-backed government and re-establish a fundamentalist Islamic regime.

Following a meeting of the so-called Quadrilateral Coordination Group made up of representatives of the four countries in Kabul in February, officials said they expected direct peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to begin in early March.

But the Taliban, which calls itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, denied it would be participating in any upcoming talks in Islamabad.

“We reject all such rumors and unequivocally state that the leader of Islamic Emirate has not authorized anyone to participate in this meeting,” the group said in a statement.

“(Islamic Emirate) once again reiterates that unless the occupation of Afghanistan is ended, black lists eliminated and innocent prisoners freed, such futile misleading negotiations will not bear any results,” it added.

This is in the Taliban’s own, official wording:

Statement of Islamic Emirate concerning non-participation by delegates of Islamic Emirate in upcoming QCG meetings


On the one hand America is deploying fresh troops to Afghanistan, is carrying out airstrikes in various areas and partaking in night raids and on the other the Kabul administration has expanded operations in multiple provinces, displaced thousands of families from their homes in this cold winter and at the same time intensified propaganda about negotiations and Quadrilateral Coordination Group meetings. These two contradictory activities have begun as the Political Office of Islamic Emirate has not been kept informed about negotiations from the onset and neither have the requests of known Afghan personalities been paid any heed.

At the same time rumors are being circulated that delegates of Islamic Emirate will be participating in the upcoming meetings with the permission of the esteemed Amir ul Mumineen, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor (may Allah safeguard him).

We reject all such rumors and unequivocally state that the esteemed leader of Islamic Emirate has not authorized anyone to participate in this meeting and neither has the Leadership Council of Islamic Emirate decided to partake in it. Just as the Islamic Emirate made clear during the Pugwash conference, it once again reiterates its policy that unless the occupation of Afghanistan is ended, black lists eliminated and innocent prisoners freed, such futile misleading negotiations will not bear any results. We also call on the media to avoid publishing baseless hollow reports and stop attributing news to the Islamic Emirate which has not been confirmed by the official spokespersons and Political Office of the Islamic Emirate.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

25/05/1437 Hijri Lunar

15/12/1394Hijri Solar                     05/03/2016 Gregorian

We have been in this situation for years.  It is difficult to be surprised, as nothing new seemed to be in the offing from either side, other than a nice new name for the peace process (Quadrilateral Coordination Group) and the addition of the Chinese.  The Afghan government and internationals require that the Taliban renounce terrorism, accept the Afghan constitution and hand in their weapons.  The Taliban require that all international military personnel leave and that they are taken off any terrorism or financial blacklists.  In effect, both sides require that the other side gives in.  The Taliban are seemingly bouncing back from the news of Mullah Omar’s death and continue to put the Afghan National Security Forces and police under serious pressure in north and south.  They will likely  want to see how far they can push this military progress in the coming year.  After all, the fighting season is due to be announced at the end of May.

Messy stalemate.

 

 

 

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