Thursday, June 20, 2013

Talking With The Taliban


Photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.org


It appears as though there may be face to face talks with the terrorist organization, the Taliban. Apparently the US and Afghanistan have contacted the Taliban to initiate face to face talks, to settle arguments between the Afghanistan government and to finalize the end of foreign involvement in the country. Just as I was about to write this post I saw on the news that Afghanistan has pulled out of the talks in protest of the US taking the lead in formulating the content of the talks.

Why on earth now would the Taliban want to have peace talks? All they have to do is wait a little longer and they will most likely be back in power. The participation of the US and its NATO allies is drawing to an end and security of the country will be the sole responsibility of the Afghan government. I have no doubts that days after foreign troops leave, Karzai and his corrupt government will fall. Petty tribal conflicts will intensify and the Taliban will soon be back in charge.

The Taliban has set up an office in Doha under the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the former Afghan Taliban government. This act does not leave much doubt that they aim to take power back and return to their former style of governing.  Karzai and the US want the Taliban to promise to uphold the new current constitution, which insures more human rights, especially for woman.  They also have to lay down their weapons, restrict their activities to Afghanistan and abide by the laws and constitution of the new government.

Even on the very day the Taliban opened its first office the, Taliban took credit for a suicide attack in Afghanistan which killed 4 American soldiers and a member of the Afghan Peace Council. According to the Taliban officials at the opening ceremony in Doha, the reason for opening the office was to gain respect from the international community. I don't think killing 4 Americans and their own countrymen will do much for gaining respectability from the international community.

The Taliban has said that they want to play a political role in the future of their country and are not interested in exporting their beliefs to other countries. So what are they doing in Pakistan? The history of the Taliban in Pakistan has been one of savagery, murder and brutality, almost always directed at women, little girls and educational and social institutions serving females. They have also murdered anyone who has tried to help with medical or social concerns of the poor. Anyone who disagrees with them or shows any interest in Western or modern ways are dealt with severely with torture or murder.

The US, UK and other NATO members have given the lives of their young men and women to the war in Afghanistan in an effort to bring human rights to all Afghans, especially women. We have all seen what the Taliban has done to its own countrymen, in their numerous car bombings and suicide attacks, in order to force their medieval beliefs and lifestyles on the entire population. Can we now believe that they will sit down and discuss matters of interest to the Afghan people and ways to stop the killings and violence?

Maybe an agreement will be made to give the Taliban a few provinces in the country where they can impose their medieval way of life on the residents of those provinces. I highly doubt though that they would be satisfied to live in such a manner, without trying to influence the rest of the country. No doubt that once foreign troops have left the country, they will try to dismantle the gains the country has made since their downfall. The mess called Afghanistan will definitely continue and all human rights gained will be lost. We should consider this a lesson learned and not make the mistake of going back in to rescue any one's human rights. Let them live as they choose, no matter how deplorable it may seem to us.

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