Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Peek Into The Afghan Taliban Mind

ExpressNews anchor and Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha pictured during the interview. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Exclusive Interview: A Peek Into The Afghan Taliban Mind -- Express Tribune


Nine years ago he was sentenced to 16 years in jail for kidnapping three United Nations workers in Afghanistan. However, he was pardoned by President Hamid Karzai in 2009 and subsequently released. Today, he lives in a mansion in an upscale neighbourhood of the Afghan capital. Meet Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, a former leader of the ultraorthodox Taliban militia.

Born in the birthplace of the Taliban movement, Akbar Agha is a cousin of Mullah Muhammad Syed Tayyab Agha, former chief of staff of elusive Taliban supremo Mullah Omar and currently the chief peace negotiator of the militia. In 2004, Akbar Agha formed the breakaway Taliban faction of Jaishul Muslemeen which carried out frequent attacks on Nato supplies.

He believes the US military wants talks with their boots on the Taliban’s neck. “Peace negotiations can begin only if all international troops pull out of Afghanistan,” he told ExpressNews anchor Munizae Jahangir in an exclusive interview. He added that enforcement of the Taliban’s hard-line version of Islamic shariah was “not negotiable”. Akbar Agha frequently churns out statements for the media on behalf of the Taliban militia.

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Previous Post: Afghanistan's Peace Talks Are Going Nowhere

My Comment: A revealing interview .... in short .... if this is the mindset of the Taliban (and I believe that it is) .... the Taliban have zero interest to pursue any form of peace talks. Their only interest is for NATO forces to leave .... and that's it. The Taliban 'negotiating team' in Doha have also expressed the same position .... and as to participating in peace talks with the Kabul government, these Taliban representatives have made it very clear that they prefer to do this.

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