Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Taliban's Chief Negotiator Says That It Is Now Time For The Group To Reshape Itself

Sayed Muhammad Tayeb Agha, right, the former Taliban chief negotiator, speaking to reporters in 2001 in Spinbaldak, Afghanistan. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

New York Times: Taliban Envoy Breaks Silence to Urge Group to Reshape Itself and Consider Peace

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban’s internal debate over whether and how to negotiate with the Afghan government is playing out in the open, even as there have been renewed attempts to restart talks.

Breaking with nearly 15 years of public silence, Sayed Muhammad Tayeb Agha, who until recently was the Taliban’s chief negotiator and head of their political commission, issued a letter about peace talks to the insurgency’s supreme leader over the summer and discussed reconciliation efforts in an interview with The New York Times in recent days, his first on the record with a Western publication in years.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Times and appeared in the Afghan news media, Mr. Agha supported the idea of talks, and said the insurgency should be urgently trying to position itself as an Afghan political movement independent from the influence of Pakistani intelligence officials who have sheltered, and at times manipulated, the Taliban since 2001.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He is not saying what that "reshape" should look like, and he is not a military commander (he is a political officer) .... but I suspect that even he knows that the Afghan war has been going on for too long, and maybe now is the time to search for an alternative pathway to end the conflict.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

It seems the Taliban is winning if reports are to be believed. I can see why now might be the time to consolidate those gains. "Reshaping" could admittedly mean pretty much anything. Perhaps it means adjusting to behave like a normal state. If this happened, the Taliban agreed to police the nation and prevent the rising up within their territory of individuals like Osama Bin Laden and the types of organizations they lead that would threaten the United States, the United States would likely gladly yield to the Taliban. Such would also allow the United States to save face. Face saving can be a powerful motivator among all humans at various times.

The trouble with ISIS is, while the conquered and held territory with extreme efficiency when it first rose to prominence, is they were either unable or unwilling to adjust to behaving like a normal nation state would be expected to behave. Had they have done so they not only could have kept their territorial conquests but likely could have expanded. The Taliban may not want to make the same mistake.

Does this man even have the power to set Taliban policies? I suppose time will tell.