US backdoor contacts with Taliban fail in resumption of talks


ISLAMABAD: America’s backdoor diplomacy is in no way going to end the ongoing deadlock in talks between Taliban and the US, which is likely to continue somewhat indefinitely.

The stalemate is due to persist over ” no political will of Washington to fulfill promises,” a senior Taliban commander said on Sunday.

Taliban sources, while stressing that empty promises/hollow claims would not be entertained anymore have stressed on involving the issue of release of prisoners in Guantanamo as essential for resumption of the talks in Qatar that were suspended by Taliban a month ago, over their concerns that US was just wasting time, doing nothing concrete.

The sources informed that behind the scenes, the US was constantly striving to convince Taliban leadership for resumption of talks.

“We never beg for peace though we respect it,” a senior Taliban leader in a telephonic conversation told Online.

During a telephonic conversation with ONLINE, Akbar Agha, cousin of Taliban top negotiator Tayyab Agha and veteran commander, , said that the US promised that as a first step toward confidence building measures it would release Taliban detainees as demanded but , has ever since t failed to do so.

It was in the last months of 2011 that Taliban and US agreed to kick off political dialogue in Qatar that was reported by Online in January this year.

Though sources among the senior leadership of Taliban didn’t rule out resumption of the peace talks with the US in Qatar, yet they also rightly visualized the inability of Washington to materialize the basis of the Confidence Building Measures agreed in the initial talks.

Taliban were/are demanding release of some of their fellows detained in Guantanamo including Mullah Fazil Akhund, their former chief of army staff who surrendered part of Afghanistan in late 2001, Mullah Nurullah Noori, a former senior governor in the north, and Mullah Khairullah Khairkhawah, a former interior minister, all.

Am anxious US on so many occasions had urged Taliban for resumption the talks and even reportedly sought Pakistan help in this regard.

In a statement Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had declared that Taliban did want to resolve issues with the international community through dialogue and opening of political office in Qatar was the proof of this willingness of Taliban.

“It negates the criticism about Taliban being inaccessible and their (Taliban’s) whereabouts being unknown to contact them for negotiations.

He nevertheless made it clear that attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan would not be toned down even if negotiations were going on.

Analysts, privy to the development, said that release of detainees is possible in next few months if Qatar could guaranteed that the released Taliban leaders would not travel back to Afghanistan for next few years.

Commenting on the US efforts, Akbar Agha said that Americans did made promises but then its implementation become a problem.

When asked about the chances of releasing detainees after US elections, he said that the game is going on before the elections, as Obama administration was politicking in USA; and once the elections are over, the negotiations would become further complicated.

Taliban sources said that although informal, rather than spontaneous interaction for resumption of negotiations is going on, backdoors, yet if America took things seriously, and removes certain hurdles, things could resume rather officially.