(Image source: Flickr/ISAF Media)

 

BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO
 

The Taliban may soon have an office address. The group more commonly associated with elusive operations in mountains announced Tuesday its plans to open up a political office in Doha — the skyscraper-laden capital of Qatar. Here’s CNN.

“For the first time, the Taliban are signaling they are ready for peace talks, without the condition of a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is significant. A purported spokesman says that the Taliban has struck a deal to open an office in Qatar. Now the group wants Taliban detainees held at Guantánamo Bay to be released as a condition for the talks.” 

The New York Times calls the announcement ‘a sharp reversal’ of the Taliban’s long denial of any interest in peace talks. But it also notes Western officials in Kabul say -- don’t get your peace talk hopes up just yet.

“... they all stressed that the process was closer to the beginning than the end and that there was no assurance that a final settlement could be reached.”

In the statement, the Taliban spokesperson indeed denied the group had agreed to enter talks. The statement also failed to address one crucial body: the Afghan government. The Taliban has long dismissed President Hamid Karzai’s administration as a puppet of foreign powers.

Al Jazeera highlights the government’s concerns.

“The Afghan government might not be so happy — it had wanted to be involved with negotiations with the Taliban. … The Afghan government will be concerned that any negotiations with the Taliban might force it to make sacrifices — sacrifices on gains made in human rights, women’s rights, here in Afghanistan, sacrifices that would then allow the Taliban to come into government here.”

And the Washington Post highlights another group that needs to be in the discussion: the Pakistani government. The country is believed to be harboring much of the Taliban’s leadership.

“Afghanistan experts and Western diplomats have expressed skepticism about the prospect of peace talks with the Taliban unless neighboring Pakistan stops providing shelter to insurgent leaders who oversee the war from safe havens across the border. “Without Pakistan’s cooperation we will not achieve anything,” said … a member of the [Afghan] peace council[.]

And finally -- will this move help decrease violence on the ground in Afghanistan? The Christian Science Monitor says, not necessarily -- it might even increase.

“In the interest of negotiating from a position of strength, both NATO and Taliban commanders will want to show battlefield gains and military strength.”

The announcement did not say when the office will be open, but the Los Angeles Times reports people associated with the Taliban have arrived in Doha in recent weeks.

Taliban Announces Plan to Open Office in Qatar

by
0
Transcript
Jan 4, 2012

Taliban Announces Plan to Open Office in Qatar

(Image source: Flickr/ISAF Media)

 

BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO
 

The Taliban may soon have an office address. The group more commonly associated with elusive operations in mountains announced Tuesday its plans to open up a political office in Doha — the skyscraper-laden capital of Qatar. Here’s CNN.

“For the first time, the Taliban are signaling they are ready for peace talks, without the condition of a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is significant. A purported spokesman says that the Taliban has struck a deal to open an office in Qatar. Now the group wants Taliban detainees held at Guantánamo Bay to be released as a condition for the talks.” 

The New York Times calls the announcement ‘a sharp reversal’ of the Taliban’s long denial of any interest in peace talks. But it also notes Western officials in Kabul say -- don’t get your peace talk hopes up just yet.

“... they all stressed that the process was closer to the beginning than the end and that there was no assurance that a final settlement could be reached.”

In the statement, the Taliban spokesperson indeed denied the group had agreed to enter talks. The statement also failed to address one crucial body: the Afghan government. The Taliban has long dismissed President Hamid Karzai’s administration as a puppet of foreign powers.

Al Jazeera highlights the government’s concerns.

“The Afghan government might not be so happy — it had wanted to be involved with negotiations with the Taliban. … The Afghan government will be concerned that any negotiations with the Taliban might force it to make sacrifices — sacrifices on gains made in human rights, women’s rights, here in Afghanistan, sacrifices that would then allow the Taliban to come into government here.”

And the Washington Post highlights another group that needs to be in the discussion: the Pakistani government. The country is believed to be harboring much of the Taliban’s leadership.

“Afghanistan experts and Western diplomats have expressed skepticism about the prospect of peace talks with the Taliban unless neighboring Pakistan stops providing shelter to insurgent leaders who oversee the war from safe havens across the border. “Without Pakistan’s cooperation we will not achieve anything,” said … a member of the [Afghan] peace council[.]

And finally -- will this move help decrease violence on the ground in Afghanistan? The Christian Science Monitor says, not necessarily -- it might even increase.

“In the interest of negotiating from a position of strength, both NATO and Taliban commanders will want to show battlefield gains and military strength.”

The announcement did not say when the office will be open, but the Los Angeles Times reports people associated with the Taliban have arrived in Doha in recent weeks.

View More
Comments
Newsy
www2