On Tuesday, Taliban officials announced they have accepted American offer to open a ‘peace-talk’ office in Doha, capital of oil-rich Sheikhdom of Qatar in return for the release of several senior Taliban officials from Guantanamo Bay concentration camp. It’s reported that former Taliban interior minister, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa and senior Taliban military commander, Mullah Noorullah Noori – the two most important Taliban detainees have already been released. The US has agreed to release former Taliban Deputy Defense Minister Mohammed Faz, former Taliban intelligence officer, Abdul Haq Wasiq and major Taliban financier Mohammed Nabi. Mullah Noorullah Noori was involved in the murder of ten Iranian diplomats and one journalist in Mazar-e-Sharif in August 1998.
The US-led war on Afghanistan was launched under the pretext of toppling the Taliban regime. Now after a decade, Washington has decided to hold negotiations with Taliban, who control more than 80% of the country. This shows Washington’s desperate exit strategy.
Under pressure from Washington, US-puppet Hamid Karzai has hailed Taliban decision. However, last month, Karzai was so angered that he recalled his ambassador to Qatar, Khalid Ahmed Zakria, in protest to Doha’s “secretly negotiating” with the US and Germany over an opening of Taliban office in Qatar. Interestingly, Qatar did not recognize Taliban rule before it was removed from Afghanistan in November 2001. Only, three countries, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE had given recognition to Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Obama administration in its desperate move to make exit from Afghanistan without further military humiliation – has been negotiating with Afghanistan’s neighbors like China, Russia, India and even Iran. However, it’s trying to keep Pakistan out of the negotiations. Last month, both Pakistan and Taliban had boycotted the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan. Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi attended the conference.
The Karzai government has been trying to negotiate directly with Taliban for the last five years. However, the Taliban refused to negotiate with Karzai government which they believe represents the interests of the US and other foreign powers. However, being in control of 80% of Afghanistan, last year Taliban leaders accepted Obama’s offer to talk to the US through Germany.
Habib Hakimi, a political analyst, in an interview with Press TV said that US has come to conclusion that Taliban control the power in Afghanistan and will not care if Karzai government object to its direct dealing with Taliban.
Initially, the US proposed Doha and Ankara for Taliban to set-up their office outside Afghanistan. However, later, Washington did not feel comfortable with Ankara due to its closer relations with Iran and Pakistan. Qatar, on the other hand, was the perfect choice – being ruled by anti-Shia Al-Thani dynasty which funded the rebels in Libya and currently funding the foreign insurgents in Syria. It was Qatar which sponsored anti-Qadaffi Arab League sanctions and now as head of Arab League – is calling NATO to bring regime change in Damascus.
Since their defeat in December 2001 – Taliban senior leaders have distant themselves from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Even former pro-Saudi Afghan Mujahideen leaders, Rabbani and Hykmityar, took refuge in neighboring Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia.
The anti-Muslim Israel-Firsters controlling the US administration are blind to the reality that there could never be a peace in Afghanistan without the blessings of both Pakistan and Iran – the two neighboring countries which share 95% of Afghanistan border.
Yesterday, Obama admitted in a speech at the Pentagon that the US forces cannot fight two major ground wars simultaneously. He said that’s reason US withrew from Iraq and is in the process winding-down its forces in Afghanistan. In other words, Obama is reassembling US military power for the new major ground war with the Islamic Republic.
Obama’s massive $662 billion military budget planned for next year is $27 billion less than what he asked, and $43 billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon this year.
I like to end this post with a quote from American journalist, editor and author, Tom Engelhardt’s, latest article: “Over the last decade, the US has been taught a repitive lesson when it comes to ground wars on the Eurasian mainland: don’t launch them. The debacle of the impending double defeat this time around couldn’t be more obvious. The only question that remains is just how humiliating the coming retreat from Afghanistan will turn out to be. the longer the US stays, the more devastating below to its power“.