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Thread: Pakistan influence on Taliban commanders helped Afghan breakthrough

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    It seems to be that you are more interested at a future where a post US Afghanistan comes back to the Pakistani sphere of influence. I am not sure you would find an anti-Taliban Afghanistan, even a peaceful one, very palatable. I suppose you being a Pakistani it is natural for you to want that to happen.
    And why do you believe I subscribe to the views you have attributed to me?
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Right, I'm waiting for someone to distort my comments yet again and hijack yet another discussion through personal attacks, since that is what passes for discourse for some around here ...
    Then get lost and find a new board.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #18
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    It is obvious the talks are supported by Pakistan, so that US leaves the region completely after 2014. It will make it easier for Taliban to grab Afghanistan after 2014.

    If Taliban is still the enemy post-2014, then US will maintain bases to guard against Taliban takeover.

    Talks are the only way to get rid of US from the equation.

  4. #19
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    I think it's marvellous if Pakistan is telling the tail bunnies to negotiate. Shows a hitherto unknown grasping at the straws of reality.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

  5. #20
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I think it's marvellous if Pakistan is telling the tail bunnies to negotiate. Shows a hitherto unknown grasping at the straws of reality.
    'Grasping at the straws of reality' by whom? Pakistan has been calling for negotiations between the US and the Taliban for years now.
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  6. #21
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Then get lost and find a new board.
    Why? Makes it so much easier to win arguments when the opponent can only hurl abuse ...
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
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  7. #22
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Mullah Omar to name high-level team for formal US talks
    By Tahir Khan

    ISLAMABAD: Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Muhmmad Omar, will appoint a high-level team for formal talks with the United States following progress in the ‘exploratory talks’ with American officials in Qatar, a Taliban spokesperson said on Thursday.

    Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesperson for the Qatar political office, told The Express Tribune via telephone from Doha, that the present Taliban team in the Gulf state will hold preliminary talks with the Americans and key issues will be discussed later in formal dialogue.

    Taliban sources say that nearly 30 Taliban representatives, including six members of the top leadership, are currently in Qatar. They include head of the team Syed Tayeb Agha, Qari Din Muhammad Hanif, Haji Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai, Maulvi Nek Muhammad and Sher Muhammad Stankazi

    Shaheen said the Taliban will first hold talks with the US as it is the major party to the conflict. Contentious issues such as Taliban prisoners in US custody will be discussed.

    Shaheen said they will insist on the release of their prisoners in Guantanamo and other US prisons as the release of Taliban prisoners will be a big confidence-building measure for the talks. “We will ask for the immediate release of our prisoners. The Taliban are willing to discuss exchange of the lone US soldier in Taliban custody for the release of the Taliban detainees,” Shaheen said.

    The Taliban had captured US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2009.

    Deadlock over the prisoners was believed to be one of the reasons that led to breakdown of talks between the US and Taliban in Qatar in March last year.

    Asked when the Taliban will talk to the Karzai-backed peace council, Shaheen said, “Time is not ripe for such talks and talks with the Afghan side will come later,” he said.

    He added that negotiations were not scheduled on Thursday, contradicting earlier media reports. “American officials have not contacted us for the Thursday talks,” he said.

    Asked when the preliminary talks could start, he did not give any exact timing but said they could take place on Friday, the day after or within a week.

    Shaheen further said a ceasefire will not be possible because if the foreign forces attack the Taliban in Afghanistan, adding the Taliban will fight back. “It is not an easy issue to resolve in the first meeting,” said Shaheen, who had previously served as a diplomat when Afghanistan was in Taliban control.
    Mullah Omar to name high-level team for formal US talks – The Express Tribune
    ====================

    With respect to the highlighted part - a bit of a slap in the face of Karzai, despite his 'tantrum', by the Taliban, relegating the Karzai peace initiative/talks with the Afghan government to a secondary/less important spot.
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  8. #23
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    And why do you believe I subscribe to the views you have attributed to me?
    Why not tell us then what your views on the subject are.

    I'm particularly interested in knowing how widespread the perception that this influence with the Taliban connects with the woes Pakistan has had to endure over the last decade.

    Because if it is then there is a chance for things to improve otherwise it will be more of the same, for you and everybody else.

    Was ten years of hardship enough or not.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Why? Makes it so much easier to win arguments when the opponent can only hurl abuse ...
    You call winning arguments with bullshit like "It's possible that the Taliban would've helped the US destroy AQ"

    To quote myself: "Wow"
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  10. #25
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    Right, I'm waiting for someone to distort my comments yet again and hijack yet another discussion through personal attacks, since that is what passes for discourse for some around here ...
    Your point to be distorted there has to be one.

    Which one is it:
    a) Pakistan has no contacts, doesn't shelter Talibans and has no influence over them; or
    b) Pakistan influences Talibans?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  11. #26
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Your point to be distorted there has to be one.

    Which one is it:
    a) Pakistan has no contacts, doesn't shelter Talibans and has no influence over them; or
    b) Pakistan influences Talibans?
    Ask BigFella - he raised the issue. I'll respond when someone dredges out a comment of mine and distorts it.
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  12. #27
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    You call winning arguments with bullshit like "It's possible that the Taliban would've helped the US destroy AQ"
    Against you, yes. with the invective filled nonsense that you directed towards me on that thread I could have argued that Chicken-Little would have come down to help the US destroy AQ and still won the argument. Minskaya's accomplishment is not yours.
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
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  13. #28
    Senior Contributor Agnostic Muslim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why not tell us then what your views on the subject are.

    I'm particularly interested in knowing how widespread the perception that this influence with the Taliban connects with the woes Pakistan has had to endure over the last decade.

    Because if it is then there is a chance for things to improve otherwise it will be more of the same, for you and everybody else.

    Was ten years of hardship enough or not.
    Views on specifically what aspect of the subject exactly?

    With respect to how 'widespread any perception is', I don't speak for all/most Pakistanis (I speak for myself) and there is a lot of good polling data out there by multiple organizations that might touch on the subject or related subjects.
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
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  14. #29
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So speak for yourself. Lets see it.

    Do you believe there is a connection between your establishments influence with the Taliban and the hardships endured by Pakistan over the last decade.

    I'm talking about the hardships you talk about any time somebody says Pakistan did well for herself with GWOT.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 21 Jun 13, at 00:36.

  15. #30
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    I agree with Karzai. This ad hoc Taliban 'embassy' is pretty scandalous.

    Karzaiís Temper Tantrum
    by Bruce Riedel Jun 20, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    The Taliban had barely announced its willingness to pursue peace before the Afghan president tried to sabotage future negotiations. By Bruce Riedel

    When the Qatari government (blessed by Washington) allowed the Taliban to open an office in Doha this week that had the Taliban flag flying outside and signs everywhere proclaiming the office to represent the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai took the symbolism as an affront.

    For Karzai and his government, the announcement, the flags and the signs brought the enemy unwanted legitimacy. Instead of being treated as insurgents or terrorists, the Taliban got the symbols of statehood. Just a week earlier, Karzai had been in Doha speaking at the Brookings Institutionís annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum, clearly warning the Americans and the Qataris not to give the Taliban these symbolic victories.

    So when Karzai on Wednesday announced that his government will not participate in any peace negotiations with the Taliban under these ground rules and furthermore suspended the talks with the United States on a long-term strategic agreement to provide for a post-2014 security relationship between America and Afghanistan it wasnít exactly a surprise. After all, he would have been savaged by his own supporters if he had done anything less.

    Still, it presents one of several hurdles on the road to peace. After years of putting the onus on the Taliban for standing in the way of peace, this latest turn of events places the onus on our ally: the man we handpicked to be the President of Afghanistan.

    Karzai knows he has a weak hand as the leader of a small, poor country. But he is not afraid to let his views be known. And, beyond that, he doesnít handle perceived slights from Washington well. But Karzai overestimates American interest in a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. He believes the U.S. wants long-term access to Afghan military bases to continue drone operations against al Qaeda targets in Pakistan and to conduct intelligence surveillance over Pakistan, Iran, and other parts of Central Asia. But he misjudges just how badly many Americans simply want to get out of the war and abandon the Afghans to their fate. Thus he plays his weak hand with a bluntness that often backfires. Washington will now undoubtedly try to smooth things over and persuade Kabul that its interests will not be sold out down the negotiations road.

    The Talibanís patrons, the Pakistani army and its notorious ISI intelligence service, are undoubtedly very pleased with the outcome. Mullah Omar, who lives under ISI protection in Pakistan, would never have agreed to the Doha opening without ISI approval. They control his life and the lives of the Taliban team in Doha. As the former head of Afghan intelligence, Amrullah Saleh, likes to point out, the Taliban negotiators fly home to Karachi whenever they want to see their boss or their families. They are not independent players.

    In terms of the Pakistani generals, they believe time is on their side in Afghanistan, that America has already lost the war and that their clients will prevail. The generals control the Afghan portfolio in Pakistan and will not let Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif interfere with their plans. Sharif probably has no plans to do so; he told me years ago that he fears the Taliban and the army will replace him with a bearded fanatic if he crosses their red lines. He is almost certainly right.

    Negotiations with the Taliban are a good idea. A political process that helps to reconcile Afghans together is badly needed. But nothing in Afghanistan is ever easy and the start of a political process to end a conflict that is now more than three decades old was always going to be tough, and so expectations should be kept low and friction expected.

    The Afghans should run the show. The Qataris need to recede from the stage, Kabul will never trust them. Karzai will probably back down in a few weeks, after all he needs the post-2014 deal with us more than we do and his standing is wobbly at home. We have a prisoner in Taliban hands we want to get home and a prisoner swap that trades him for some GuantŠnamo prisoners is probably a good deal. In diplomacy symbols and flags matter greatly, however. And itís been a tough start.

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