• Monday, February 20, 2017

Afghans push for Taliban 'safe zone' to outflank Pakistan

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Devil Soul, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    Afghans push for Taliban 'safe zone' to outflank Pakistan
    By AFP
    Published: January 10, 2017
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    KABUL: Afghan officials are pushing to create a “safe zone” for Taliban insurgents in a bid to wean them away from traditional sanctuaries inside Pakistan, in a radical and contentious strategy to de-escalate the conflict.

    The plan underscores desperation in Afghanistan for out-of-the-box solutions to tackle the 15-year insurgency, as peace bids repeatedly fail and US-backed forces suffer record casualties in stalemated fighting.

    Pakistan only country where terrorism is on the decline: Nisar

    If implemented, the strategy — aimed at undercutting Pakistan’s influence over the Taliban — could, for better or for worse, be a game changer in a strife-torn nation where ceding territory to insurgents is seen as tantamount to partition.

    “I urge the Taliban to return to Afghanistan. We should make a safe zone for them and their families,” Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq told a gathering of religious scholars and tribal elders last month.

    “We can no longer rely on foreign governments and embassies to end the war. The Taliban belong to this country, they are sons of this soil.”

    That Raziq, arguably the most powerful commander in southern Afghanistan and long one of the staunchest anti-Taliban figures, would suggest such an idea amplified the shockwaves it created.

    “The government shouldn’t be giving safe zones to terrorists,” warned former Helmand governor Sher Mohammed Akhundzada, while some observers dismissed the strategy as “illogical” as the Taliban already control vast swathes of Afghan territory.

    Raziq did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, but a senior security official told AFP the government’s goal “is to bring the Taliban from Pakistan to Afghanistan”.

    “We will separate a territory for them to come with their families. Then whether they want to fight or talk peace, they will be relieved from the pressure of Pakistan,” he said, speaking anonymously.

    Seen by many Afghans as the biggest obstacle to lasting peace, Islamabad has long been accused of playing a “double game” in Afghanistan: endorsing Washington’s war on terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, while nurturing militant sanctuaries.

    Taliban gunmen storm Afghan MP’s house, casualties feared

    After years of official denial, a top Pakistani official in 2016 admitted for the first time the Taliban enjoys safe haven inside his country, which Islamabad uses as a “lever” to pressure the group into talks with Kabul.

    However, Pakistan has hosted multiple rounds of talks ostensibly to jumpstart a peace process — without result.

    The “safe zone” strategy appears to have taken shape as prominent Taliban figures call to make the insurgency independent of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, which they accuse of manipulating the group.

    “The presence of our movement’s key decision makers and institutions inside Pakistan means they can impose things that are against the interests of our movement and Afghanistan,” Sayed Tayyeb Agha wrote in a letter last year to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada.

    “To be able to make independent decisions, our leadership… should leave Pakistan,” the former head of the Taliban’s political commission added in the letter seen by AFP.

    Afghanistan’s National Security Council did not officially confirm the government strategy, saying only: “The Taliban are allowed to relocate to Afghanistan under state protection.”

    The Afghan security official said the government was in contact with Taliban leaders over the proposal, a fact corroborated by militant sources in Pakistan.

    He refused to specify the potential location for the safe zone, and whether it will be immune from aerial bombardment or ground assault, but insisted no areas with military installations will be handed over.

    Afghan Taliban release profile of chief Maulvi Haibtullah Akhunzada

    Speculation that the government was furtively trying to cede territory recently grew when local media cited secret military documents revealing Afghan forces were planning to retreat from two Helmand districts during a winter lull in fighting.

    Afghan officials dismissed the report, while also rejecting longstanding claims that the Taliban leadership council — Quetta Shura — has relocated to Afghanistan.

    But multiple insurgent sources told AFP that prominent members, including the Taliban’s military chief Ibrahim Sadr, recently moved to an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.

    “Ibrahim also urged Haibatullah to come to Afghanistan but he refused,” a top Quetta Shura member told AFP.

    Obaidullah Barakzai, an MP from Uruzgan province, argued that giving the Taliban a permanent address in Afghanistan would make it easier to convince them to participate in an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace dialogue without interference from our neighbour”.

    However Timor Sharan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the strategy was flawed. “It’s like asking the Taliban to leave their brick-built houses and settle in a tent in the desert with half-hearted guarantees that they will not be bombed,” Sharan told AFP.

    “The Taliban need to receive a strong assurance from coalition forces, in particular the US, before making the move.” But the Afghan security official insisted there was no military solution to the conflict. “If this plan does not work, Afghanistan will be ready for another tough year of fighting,” he said.
     
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  2. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    They haven't forgotten Qila Jhangi massacre.
     
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  3. CriticalThought

    CriticalThought FULL MEMBER

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    The problem is, the Taliban have ruled over a large portion of Afghanistan, and their mindset says 'Only the weak try to negotiate peace'. By showing its weakness, the Afghan government will only give motivation to the Taliban to take what is rightfully theirs.

    @spinghar renacido
     
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  4. Sheikh Rauf

    Sheikh Rauf SENIOR MEMBER

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    they want them to come to one place so then can keep an eye on them and eliminate when ever they want nice strategy, its another stunt of foreign occupied forces we all know whats gonna happen in the end. There wont be peace till foreign forces will leave.
     
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  5. Asfandyar Bhittani

    Asfandyar Bhittani FULL MEMBER

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    Kabul Showing weakness.
     
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  6. Khanate

    Khanate FULL MEMBER

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    Kabul regime feeling pressure after trilateral (China, Russia and Pakistan) talks. :coffee:
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  7. smuhs1

    smuhs1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    If peace in afghanistan was that simple then it would have been achieved half a century ago. Afghan problem currently is foreign sponsored governments but even if afghans come to parliment it same old ethnic rivalry will sprout with pashtoons demanding more share. I am pretty sure that northren alliance scums will rather have every pashtoon dead rather than giving them their power back.
     
  8. Valar Dohaeris

    Valar Dohaeris FULL MEMBER

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    Not gonna happen. Taliban dont recognize the authority of puppet regime. Any plan in which Taliban will be not given stake-holding of the central government is doomed to be rejected.
     
  9. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    Taliban don't need and will not settle for the small portion while soon they will be able to kick the butts of NDS and foreign imposed regime from Kabul.
     
  10. Kambojaric

    Kambojaric SENIOR MEMBER

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    Oh dear, doesnt the Kabul regime say the Taliban is made up of foreign fighters. The internet is full of Afghans showing pictures of dark Taliban fighters as evidence of the Taliban being a foreign group made up "daal" whatever eating Punjabis, forgetting that this guy is their national team wicket keeper (http://brightcove04.o.brightcove.co...ad-Innings---HK-v-AFG.jpg?pubId=3910869736001). Anyways good to hear that even their officials are speaking the truth now with regards to what the Taliban are. Only by recognizing the problem do you have a chance at solving it.
     
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  11. HttpError

    HttpError FULL MEMBER

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    This government who is only limited to Kabul has no right to demand anything. This is a puppet regime which was actually setup by foreign powers.
     
  12. Saba Ali Malik

    Saba Ali Malik FULL MEMBER

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    The Taliban need to receive a strong assurance from coalition forces, i

    That Raziq, arguably the most powerful commander in southern Afghanistan and long one of the staunchest anti-Taliban figures, would suggest such an idea amplified the shockwaves it created.
     
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  13. Hammad Arshad Qureshi

    Hammad Arshad Qureshi FULL MEMBER

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    If I am not mistaken Pakistan also proposed the same solution of giving few provinces to Taliban few years back. (Below Link for anyone who is interested for review).

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/570927/...akistans-kabul-taliban-power-sharing-formula/

    Which pissed off the high on weeds afghan leadership and started their normal tantrum of abusing and blaming Pakistan. Now they are proposing the same solution. Someone really have to give pat on the back of the policy makers of Afghanistan
     
  14. LeGenD

    LeGenD SENIOR MEMBER

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    Why some Pakistani continue to support so-called Afghan Taliban? They brought the notorious Al-Qaeda network to our doorstep which is responsible for murdering thousands across the world including many in Pakistan.

    Do you guys seriously believe that Afghan Taliban are trustworthy? They will bring ISIS to our doorstep next time. Just wait for them to come to power again.

    I continue to scratch my head.
     
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  15. Post Colonnial

    Post Colonnial FULL MEMBER

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    if this happens, one of Pakistan's key export will diminish