विशेष

तालिबान और चेचन लड़ाकों का पूरी दुनियां के पास कोई तोड़ नहीं है : अमरीका, अफ़्ग़ानिस्तान में हार गया : रिपोर्ट

 

दबा के चल दिए सब कब्र में अरे दुआ न सलाम,,,,,अरे, ज़रा सी देर में क्या हो गया ज़माने को,,,,दबा के चल दिये,,,दबा के चल,,,,दबा के,,,,पढ़ी नमाज़ जनाज़े की मेरी ग़ैरों ने,,,मरे थे जिनके लिए वो रहे वज़ू करते,,,,दबा के चल दिये,,,,,आदमी का जिस्म क्या है जिस पे शैदा है जहाँ, एक मट्टी की ईमारत, एक मट्टी का मकां,,,,चंद साँसों पे खड़ा है ये ख़याली आसमां,,,,मौत की पुर ज़ोर आधी जब इससे टकराएगी,,,,टूट कर ये ईमारत ख़ाक़ में मिल जायेगी,,,,,

ये अज़ीज़ मियां की कव्वाली से है,,,,ये इंसान की जिंदिगी का सच है, हम जिसे बहुत अहमियत देते हैं वो दुनियां की हैसियत तो ‘राई” के दाने के बराबर भी नहीं है,,,,जब कहीं कुछ न था,,,कुछ भी न था,,,ख़ुदा था बस,,,,तब ख़ुदा का मकाम ‘अर्श’/सिंहासन समन्दरों पर क़ायम था,,,ख़ुदा ने सोचा कि कोई कारनामा किया जाये,,,,तो ये क़ायनात बनी,,,,जिसमे तारे, चाँद, सूरज, ज़मीन, दरिया, पहाड़, आसमान, हवाएं, फूल, खुशबु, शहद, दूध, शराब, अफ़ीम, इंसान और इंसान के साथ शैतान को पैदा किया,,,,ज़मीन पर खुदा ने पहले जिन्नात को भेजा, अल्लाह की ये मख्लूक़ सियाह आग से पैदा है, जिन्नात करीब 250000 करोड़ साल ज़मीन पर आबाद रहे, जब इन में खूनखराबा बहुत बढ़ गया तब अल्लाह ने फरिश्तों को हुकुम दिया कि ‘जिन्नात को फ़ना फ़िल्ला यानी सख्त सज़ा दो, इनका नामो निशान मिटा दो,,,अल्लाह का हुकुम पाते ही फरिश्तों ने जिन्नात का क़त्ले आम शुरू कर दिया, ये सफाये के वक़्त बहुत से जिन्नात समंदर की तह में जा कर छुप गए,,,,

अल्लाह ने इस ज़मीन पर जिस पर मै हूँ और ये लिख रहा हूँ, आदम और हव्वा को उतारा, उसके बाद इंसानों की नस्ल बढ़ती गयी और वो ज़मीन पर फैलती गयी, ज़मीन जोकि पहले ‘अंडाकार’ एक जगह थी, प्राकर्तिक कारणों और ज़मीन के अंदर होने वाले बदलाव, टूटफूट ‘sclapturing of earth’ की वजह से टूटती रही और उसकी स्थिति बदलती रही,,,वक़्त के साथ साथ इंसानों ने तरक्की की और ज़मीन पर बढ़ते रहे

हम जिस ज़मीन पर ज़िंदा हैं, उससे बड़े सूरज न जाने कितने आसमानों में मौजूद हैं, कितने की सितारे ऐसे हैं जिनकी रौशनी जबसे क़ायनात का वजूद हुआ है ज़मीन तक नहीं पहुंची है,,,हाल ही में एक डेड स्टार ‘ब्लैक होल’ का पता लगा है, जो हमारी ज़मीन है 45 लाख करोड़ टाइम्स ‘गुना’ बड़ा है,,,रात के वक़्त आसमान से तीज रौशनी ज़मीन की तरफ तीर की तरह आती दिखाई देती हैं,,और ज़मीन पर आने से पहले वो रौशनी बुझ जाती है,,,,मगर, अगर एक ‘एस्ट्रोइड’ जिसका एरिया एक किलोमीटर का हो हमारी ज़मीन से टकरा जाये तो ये ज़मीन, आसमान और जो कुछ इस ब्राह्मण/क़ायनात में मौजूद है, सब ख़त्म हो जायेगा,,,इंसान अपनी अक़ल को ज़यादा वक़्त अपनी हिफाज़त, कामयाबी की तरकीबें तलाश करने में लगाता है,,,लेकिन ये क़ायनात, हमारी ज़मीन, समंदर, पहाड़, दरिया कुछ भी यहाँ हमेशा के लिए नहीं है,,,जो कुछ है एक थोड़े से वक़्त तक के लिए है,,,

 

सोचो, हमारी ज़मीन से बड़े आसमान में बेशुमार तारे हैं, जो इस ज़मीन से करोड़ों गुना बड़े हैं,,,फिर सोचो,,,इस ज़मीन को अगर किसी एक तारे के मुकाबले में देखें तो,,,,तो इसकी हैसियत ‘राई’ के दाने के बराबर भी नहीं होगी,,,,

इस्लाम मज़हब इंसान को जिंदिगी जीने के साथ साथ जिंदिगी की छुपी सच्चाइयों से भी वाकिफ करवाता है, दुनियां में मज़हब के बहुत झगडे हैं इसलिए एक मज़हब से लोग दूसरे को ग़लत, बुरा, छोटा साबित करने में लगे रहते हैं,,,,इस्लाम मज़हब को समझने के लिए रसूल अल्लाह की जिंदिगी की जानकारी ज़रूर होना चाहिए, आज के वक़्त में दुनियां में मज़हबी झगडे और बढ़ गए हैं, फटे में पैर घुसाने वाले भी अपने मज़हब बना कर मैदान में कूद पड़े हैं, इनका कोई ओर-छोर नहीं है, ये रंग रोग़न पोत के खुद को अच्छा अच्छा दिखाने की कोशिशों में लगे हैं

जो लोग अपने रसूल और अल्लाह से मुहब्बत करते हैं, वो दीवाने होते हैं, आशिक़ होते हैं, ये इश्क़ ऐसा इश्क़ है जिसका ‘लुत्फ़’ हर किसी को नसीब नहीं होता है,,,,अल्लाह ने अपने बन्दों के लिए इज़्ज़त और बड़े इनाम रखे हैं,,,

पहाड़ों में बकरियां, भेड़ चराने वाले अफ़ग़ान तालिबान, जिन्हें दुनियां आतंकवादी संगठन कहती थी, जिस को मिटाने के लिए इस वक़्त की सभी ताक़तें एक साथ इकठ्ठा होकर मैदान में उतरी थीं, शैतानों का बाप अमेरिका अपने 48 दोस्त देशों को साथ लेकर, लेटेस्ट तकनिकी, खतरनाक हथियारों, मदर ऑफ़ आल बॉम्ब्स, फादर ऑफ़ आल बॉम्ब्स बरसाता रहा, तालिबान अल्लाह की राह में जिहाद करते रहे,,,अकेले अफ़ग़ान तालिबान ने विश्व की महाशक्तियों उसके सहयोगियों को घुटनों पर ला दिया है,,,

आतंकवादी तालिबान अब बिना किसी दस्तावेज़, पासपोर्ट, वीसा के रूस, ईरान, चीन, पाकिस्तान, तुर्की के सफर कर रहे हैं, ये जहाँ पहुँच रहे हैं, इनके स्वागत में वहां की सरकारें झुक कर कड़ी नज़र आती हैं, तालिबान ने ये इज़्ज़त अपने अकेले दम पर कमाई है,,,,इस वक़्त इब्लीस का बाप अमेरिका तालिबान के सामने हाथ जोड़े खड़ा है,,,

तालेबान से बातचीत रोकने के फ़ैसले पर अमरीका को पछतावा

अफ़ग़ानिस्तान के मामलों में अमरीका के विशेष प्रतिनिधि ज़लमाय ख़लीलज़ाद बिना एलान के दौरे पर पाकिस्तान की राजधानी इस्लामाबाद पहुंचे गए थे और
पाकिस्तानी अधिकारियों से तालेबान-अमरीका के बीच बंद हो चुकी वार्ता प्रक्रिया को दुबारा शुरू करने का मुतालबा करते हैं, उनका यह दौरा ऐसी हालत में हो रहा है कि पाकिस्तान की सरकार ने अफ़ग़ान शांति वार्ता प्रक्रिया रुकने पर अप्रसन्नता जताते हुए वाइट हाउस से ऐसा क़दम उठाने की मांग की थी जिससे बातचीत फिर से शुरु हो सके।

ग़ौरतलब है कि ज़लमाय ख़लीलज़ाद चीन से पाकिस्तान पहुंचे, इससे पहले ज़लमाय ख़लीलज़ाद 3 सितंबर को पाकिस्तान का दौरा करने वाले थे लेकिन अमरीका की ट्रम्प सरकार के तालेबान के साथ वार्ता रोकने के अचानक फ़ैसले की वजह ये यह दौरा नहीं हो सका था।

 

ट्रम्प सरकार ने क़तर में तालेबान के साथ वार्ता के 9 चरण के बाद, हाल में इस गुट के साथ वार्ता प्रक्रिया को रोक दिया था, तालेबान-अमरीका के बीच क़तर में हुयी 9 चरणों की बातचीत का अफ़ग़ान जनता के हित में कोई नतीजा नहीं निकला, इसके विपरीत इस देश में अभी भी जंग, झड़प और आतंकवादी हमले जारी हैं।

अग़निस्तान में शांति की स्थापना एक बड़ी चिनौती है, यहाँ दुनियां के लगभग सभी बड़े देश किसी न किसी रूप में जमे हुए हैं, अफ़ग़ान तालिबान के सदस्यों का पाकिस्तान पहुँचने पर पाकिस्तान के विदेश मंत्री ने गले लगा कर स्वागत किया, जो तालिबान की अहमियत और पोजीशन को बयान करता है
अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति ने तालिबान के साथ वार्ता को एक ट्वीट कर समाप्त करने का एलान कर दिया था, ट्रम्प वार्ता को ‘एंड’ करने के बाद एक साथ कई घटनाएं हुईं, तालिबान सबसे पहले रूस पहुंचे, उसके बाद चीन गए, ईरान का दौरा किया और पाकिस्तान पहुंचे, तालिबान का ये प्रतिनिधि मंडल किसी वैध पासपोर्ट पर यात्राएं नहीं कर रहा है बल्कि इनके लिए विशेष सुविधा प्रदान की गयी हैं, रूस, चीन, ईरान, पाकिस्तान, तुर्की की सरकारें तालिबान की सरकार को मान्यता देने के लिए तैयार हैं, अमेरिका ने तालिबान पर दबाव बनाने के लिए शांति वार्ता को समाप्त घोषित किया था, उसका ये दाव काम भी किया है, अमेरिकी एलान के बाद तालिबान की तरफ से वार्ता जारी रखने पर ज़ोर दिया गया, पाकिस्तान ने तालिबान को नरम करने में भमिका निभाई है,

अफ़ग़ान तालिबान का इतिहास याद है, ये वो लोग हैं जो दुनियां की सबसे बड़ी जंग जीते हैं, 1991 में अमेरिका ने नाटो सेना और 48 सहियोगी देशों के साथ तालिबान पर हमला किया था, यह दुनियां के इतिहास का ऐसा युद्ध था जिसमे एक तरफ पूरी दुनियां थी और दूसरी तरफ चरवाहे तालिबान, अमेरिका को उम्मीद थी कि एक सप्ताह में तालिबान का खात्मा कर देगा, लेकिन 18 साल चले इस युद्ध में तालिबान ने कभी हार नहीं मानी, कभी झुके, दबे, घबराये नहीं, लड़ते रहे, शहीद होते रहे, और लड़ते रहे, अमेरिका और उसके मित्र देशों को अफ़ग़ान तालिबान ने थका कर रख दिया, जहाँ एक तरफ दुनियां की लेटेस्ट टेक्नोलॉजी, सबसे अच्छे हथियार, विमान, तोपें, टैंक, सेमी आटोमेटिक गन्स आदि थे तो दूसरी तरफ ‘जुगाड़’ से तैयार किया काम चलाऊ हथियार, अफ़ग़ान युद्ध शुरू करते समय अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति जोर्जे बुश ने कहा था कि तालिबान के लिए अगानिस्तान की ज़मीन तंग कर देंगे, और अब कहानी उलटी हो गयी है, तालिबान ने जो मार मारी है उसके बाद अमेरिका यहाँ से भागने के ज़रिये तलाश रहा है

तालिबान के साथ उनका खुदा था, क्यूंकि उनको अमेरिका ने बेवजह मोहरा बना कर अफ़ग़ानिस्तान को हड़पने का प्लान बनाया था, अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर कब्ज़ा करने के बाद अमेरिका, इस्राईल अरब, चीन, रूस, पाकिस्तान आदि पर नज़र रख सकते थे, यह एशिया और बाकी दुनियां को जोड़ने वाला अहम् देश है, अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर अमेरिकी कब्ज़ा होने से अमेरिका और इस्राईल के आलावा भारत, फ्रांस, सऊदी अरब, UK, UAE को अधिक फायदा होता,

तालिबान के साथ अमरीकी समझौता होने से इस्राईल, भारत, फ्रांस, सऊदी अरब, UK, UAE को बहुत बड़ा नुक्सान होगा, यहाँ भारत ने अरबों करोड़ रुपया लगाया हुआ है, अनेक पुख्ता ठिकाने बनाये हुए हैं, तालिबान के वहां की सत्ता में आने के साथ ही अफ़ग़ानिस्तान से अमेरिका के साथ साथ भारत, फ्रांस, सऊदी अरब, UK, UAE को भी पूरी तरह से निकलना पड़ेगा, जबकि सबसे ज़यादा फायदा चीन, रूस, ईरान और पाकिस्तान को होगा।

अफ़ग़ानिस्तान का भूगोल ऐसा है जो उसकी अहमियत बढ़ा देता है कुछ ऐसा ही पाकिस्तान के साथ भी है, एशिया के ये दो देश कई देशों को आपस में जोड़ते हैं, यहाँ से अरब, यूरोप व् रूस तक के लिए रास्ता बनता है, चीन का सीपैक पाकिस्तान से होकर गुज़र रहा है, यह ‘अक्साईचिन’ से होकर गुज़र रहा है, अक्साईचीन पर भारत अपना दावा करता है, पाकिस्तान के कब्ज़े वाले कश्मीर पर भारत का अपना दावा हमेशा से रहा है, इन दोनों इलाकों से सीपैक का गुज़र है, अब अगर भारत POK पर हमला कर अपने कब्ज़े में लेने की कोशिश करता है तो ‘चीन’ PoK में पाकिस्तान के साथ अपने प्रोजेक्ट को बचाने के लिए खड़ा होगा, भारत ने कश्मीर से 370 ख़त्म कर कश्मीर में भारतीय संविधान लागू कर दिया है, भारत के इस कदम ने भारत की मुश्किलों को पहले से और ज़ियादा बढ़ा दिया है, तीन महिने से ज़ियादा हो जाने पर भी कश्मीर में अभी कर्फ्यू जारी है, लोग अपने तरीकों से विरोध-प्रदर्शन कर रहे हैं, कश्मीर, जम्मू, लद्दाख हर जगह केंद्र के खिलाफ विरोध हो रहा है, अब वहां हालत कैसे नार्मल होंगे?इसका जवाब सरकार के पास नहीं है, साल, दो साल वहां लोगों को बंधक बना कर रखा नहीं जा सकता है

उधर पाकिस्तान के इतिहास का यह सबसे बड़ा मुसीबतों का वक़्त है, वहां की आर्थिक इस्थिति बेहद ख़राब है, ऊपर से कश्मीर समस्या ने वहां की सरकार, सेना को ”दबाव” में ला दिया है, भारत की बीजेपी सरकार को आरएसएस के एजेंडे के अनुसार कश्मीर से 370 ख़तम करना था जो उसने कर दिया अब पाकिस्तान के ऊपर जवाबी कार्यवाही का दबाव है, पाकिस्तान हमेशा से कश्मीर को ‘सहे रग़’ कहता रहा है, अब जो कश्मीरी ‘क़ैद’ में हैं वो कब तक ऐसे ही रहेंगे, पाकिस्तान की जनता उससे जवाब मांगेगी, इस बीच पाकिस्तान की सरकार इन्तिज़ार में है कि ‘अमेरिका -अफ़ग़ानिस्तान’ का समझौता जितना जल्दी हो सके हो जाये, तालिबान के साथ अमेरिकी समझौता होने के बाद पाकिस्तान को बहुत राहत/मदद मिलेगी, सबसे पहले तालिबान अफ़ग़ानिस्तान से भारत को रवाना कर देगा, दूसरे अफ़ग़ानिस्तान की सीमा पर तैनात पाकिस्तानी सेना वहां से फ्री हो जाएगी, जिसे वो भारत/कश्मीर की सरहद पर ले आयेगा

तालिबान आने वाले समय में कश्मीर के मामले में बड़ा रोल उठा सकते हैं, अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में अमन हो जाने के बाद अफ़ग़ान तालिबान कश्मीर की तरफ बढ़ेंगे, पाकिस्तान खुद इनको लेकर आयेगा, तालिबान के पास सैंकड़ों सालों की जंगों का तजुर्बा है, साथ की कश्मीर और अफ़ग़ानिस्तान का भूगोल एक जैसा है, जहाँ ऊँचे पहाड़ और बर्फ है, ऐसे माहौल में लड़ने में तालिबान माहिर हैं, ज़मीनी लड़ाई में तालिबान और चेचन लड़ाकों का पूरी दुनियां के पास कोई तोड़ नहीं है

parvez khan

Pakistan views Afghan Taliban as reliable-anti-India element in Afghanistan: US Congressional report

The CRS warned that a potential collapse of the Afghan military and/or the government that commands it could have significant implications for the United States, particularly given the nature of negotiated security arrangements.

Press Trust of India
Washington
November 6/19

akistan considers Afghan Taliban as a “relatively friendly” and “reliable anti-India element” in Afghanistan as it fears a strategic encirclement by New Delhi whose interest in the war-torn country stems largely from its broader regional rivalry with Islamabad, a US Congressional report has said.

In its latest report on Afghanistan, the independent and bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) identified Pakistan as the most important neighbour of Afghanistan.

However, it said Pakistan wanted a weak government in Kabul and has played an active, and by many accounts, a negative role in Afghan affairs for decades.

“Pakistan’s security establishment, fearful of a strategic encirclement by India, apparently continues to view the Afghan Taliban as a relatively friendly and reliable anti-India element in Afghanistan,” the CRS said.

“India’s diplomatic and commercial presence in Afghanistan – and US rhetorical support for it – exacerbates Pakistani fears of encirclement. Indian interest in Afghanistan stems largely from India’s broader regional rivalry with Pakistan, which impedes Indian efforts to establish stronger and more direct commercial and political relations with central Asia,” it said in its latest report on Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s security services maintain ties to Afghan insurgent groups, most notably to the Haqqani Network, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) that has become an official, semiautonomous component of the Taliban, the CRS said.

It periodically prepares reports on issues of importance for Congressmen for them to make informed decisions.

Afghan leaders, along with US military commanders, attribute much of the insurgency’s power and longevity either directly or indirectly to Pakistani support, the report said, adding that US President Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting”.

US officials have long identified militant safe havens in Pakistan as a threat to Afghanistan’s security, though some Pakistani officials dispute the charge, it said

“Pakistan may view a weak and destabilised Afghanistan as preferable to a strong, unified Afghan state (particularly one led by an ethnic Pashtun-dominated government in Kabul; Pakistan has a large and restive Pashtun minority),” the report said.

However, instability in Afghanistan could rebound to Pakistan’s detriment; Pakistan has struggled with indigenous Islamist militants of its own, the report added.

Afghanistan-Pakistan relations are further complicated by the presence of over a million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, as well as a long-running and ethnically tinged dispute over their shared 1,600-mile border, it said.

Insurgent and terrorist groups have demonstrated considerable capabilities in 2019, throwing into sharp relief the daunting security challenges that the Afghan government and its US and international partners face.

At the same time, prospects for a negotiated settlement, driven by direct US-Taliban talks, are uncertain in light of the September 2019 cancelation of those negotiations and the Taliban’s continued refusal to talk to the Afghan government, the report said.

The CRS warned that a potential collapse of the Afghan military and/or the government that commands it could have significant implications for the United States, particularly given the nature of negotiated security arrangements.

Regardless of how likely the Taliban would be to gain full control over all or even most of the country, the breakdown of social order and the fracturing of the country into fiefdoms controlled by paramilitary commanders and their respective militias may be plausible, even probable, the report added.

Habib Khan Totakhil
@HabibKhanT
Taliban have agreed to partial ceasefire following secrete talks inside Afghanistan where they discussed prisoners’ exchange and ceasefire before kickstarting the official intra-Afghan dialogue. Hope there is less suicide bombings and air-strikes. Hoping for peace ✌️

Captives or Defectors? Taliban Fighters Tell Conflicting Tales

The simple idea of insurgency versus government proves much more complex when dozens of detained fighters tell their stories in a remote corner of Afghanistan.

By David Zucchino

FAIZABAD, Afghanistan — They paced aimlessly inside a guarded compound, stepping over their beard and hair clippings on the ground. Ninety-eight Taliban in all — fighters as young as 16 and as old as one white-bearded veteran of 65.

They had all laid down their weapons and pledged loyalty to the Afghan government. But the reasons for that depended on who was telling the tale — and illuminated some of the complexity of a war in which side-switching is common.

The Afghan military says these Taliban fighters quit to try to save their lives after Afghan forces retook three districts from the Taliban during desperate, pitched battles in the northeastern province of Badakhshan in September.

The fighters had been told by the head of the national intelligence agency in the province that they were free to return to civilian life if they renounced the Taliban.

But in the compound’s courtyard, some fighters said they had already been planning to do just that before they were taken into custody. Some told of conspiring with friends and relatives from the government to abandon the Taliban even as the battles for the districts were raging.

Others said they had been given no choice but to surrender at gunpoint, then submitted to having their typical Taliban style — long hair and beards — trimmed back by a barber.

But they were not speaking freely. They related their stories to visiting New York Times journalists in the presence of a glowering officer from the National Directorate of Security, who often interrupted to correct or admonish them for speaking too frankly.

The courtyard spectacle had all the trappings of a practiced performance, with the fighters politely agreeing with the intelligence officer. But whenever he stepped away, they offered more candid assessments.

Particularly in remote places like Badakhshan, where the central government in Kabul is a distant idea, switching sides between the Taliban, other insurgent groups, and the security forces is a frequent event. Old local rivalries keep playing out across new allegiances. Lapis lazuli and gold mines, coupled with drug-smuggling, add to the complexity.

Several of the men spoke of reluctantly joining the Taliban only after their districts were seized by the militants up to four years ago. They shared a common resentment: the foreign jihadists — from Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — who commandeered their homes and demanded food.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hanif Nuristani, the government intelligence commander in Badakhshan, said there were at least 400 foreign fighters in the province who had joined the Taliban, Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.

“They didn’t speak our language, but we shared our food,” said Sultan Mohammad, 46, who said he commanded 15 Taliban fighters. “We had no choice, and to protect our families, we supported them.”

Mr. Mohammad, who said he was a teacher who supported the government before the Taliban takeover, said he had been in touch by telephone with local government leaders before and during the battles in September.

Asked whether he and his men had surrendered or had been captured, Mr. Mohammed replied, “We weren’t captured. We support the government, inshallah.”

Nizamuddin, 19, who goes by one name, said he had eagerly joined the Taliban this year because he was intrigued by what he called “their ideology.” But when the Afghan military attacked, he said, his older brother — a government intelligence officer — telephoned and persuaded him to defect.

He said he switched sides because of the foreign jihadists, whose presence he said drew American airstrikes. “We didn’t want them in our homeland but we had no choice,” he said.

The intelligence officer, a stocky man in a shiny blue suit who declined to give his name, said the government had provided food, showers and living space for the fighters. At their request, he provided a barber to trim their long hair and wild beards, he said.

“We want to look like the government people,” one fighter announced, and his companions laughed uproariously.

The intelligence officer said the fighters, who were allowed to keep their cellphones to reach family members, would be permitted to return home soon. He said they were free to leave the compound, but it was surrounded by armed intelligence agency soldiers who blocked the front entrance.

The fighters had been taken recently to attend a ceremony in Faizabad, the provincial capital, with the government’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib. In a Twitter post, Mr. Mohib said the men had renounced violence. He praised them for “choosing the right way” and “endorsing” the government’s legitimacy.

Abdullah Naji Nazari, a member of the provincial council, said the fighters “didn’t like the Taliban anymore” and now trusted government forces to help them secure their villages.

General Nuristani said the fighters had provided valuable intelligence. “Perhaps we’ll send them back as spies for us,” he said.

In the courtyard, Mohammad Hassan, a wiry little man who thought he was about 65 years old, said he had fired rocket-propelled grenades at Soviet soldiers in the 1980s and at government troops this year while fighting for the Taliban.

Now, he said, he was perfectly willing to fire the same weapon at his former Taliban comrades, if only the government would arm him. He had been a farmer before joining the Taliban, he said, but now he wanted nothing more than to fight.

“Some people like gardening or parrots,” he said, grinning. “I like to fight.”

His comrades doubled over in laughter. One of them slapped the old man on the back.

“I’m addicted to war,” Mr. Hassan continued. “My nickname is Hassan Rocket!”

There was more laughter, even from the weapons-toting intelligence agency guards.

The spectacle inside the courtyard soon drew to a close, with the intelligence officer signaling that it was time to wrap up. The visitors withdrew. The fighters, some who seemed to have surrendered and some who perhaps had defected, resumed pacing the compound.

One of the guards watched them warily.

“Every one of them is dangerous,” he said. “We don’t trust a single one.”

Najim Rahim contributed reporting.

 

Nooh Ahamad
@AhamadNooh

I never mentioned wmds, did I? But what about the anthrax and the chemical attacks? Moreover no Syrian gas attack has been debunked, it’s only in your head. Pakistan is lawless, Afghanistan is even worse. But at least people are living there a better life than under the Taliban.

Taliban kill three judges, court staffer in southeast Afghanistan

 

Abdullah Hasrat, a spokesman for the governor in eastern Paktia province, said on Thursday that the attack took place in Mohammad Agha district of neighboring Logar province.

“They were travelling in a car but were stopped by the Taliban checkpoint on the road,” media outlets quoted Hasrat as saying, Presstv Reported.

The militant group, which has been blamed for previous ambushes on the highway linking Logar province to the Afghan capital, did not confirm it was behind the latest assault.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was not aware of the attack but would check with local commanders.

Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow the Kabul government have long targeted the judiciary in retaliation for harsh sentences given to their fighters.

As Afghan police casualties mounted, the government this year pulled back from hundreds of checkpoints in isolated areas that acted as a magnet for Taliban attacks.

Many Afghans complain that militant groups have now set up checkpoints along the main highways, searching cars and looking for government employees.

The Taliban now control more territory than at any point since the US invasion of the country nearly two decades ago. The United States is desperately trying to end its longest ever war, but peace talks with the Taliban are currently stalled.

In the past year, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar, where the militant group has a political office.

An agreement appeared imminent in early September, but a new wave of violence and the death of a US soldier made US President Donald Trump suddenly call off the talks. The White House also canceled a truce signing ceremony at Camp David of which few had been aware.

The US-Taliban negotiations centered on the US’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

More than 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan and Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with their continued deployment. US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Trump.

Daesh in Afghanistan targeting ex-Soviet countries

On Thursday, the chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov said that the Daesh terrorist group was setting up a base in Afghanistan to target former Soviet states using militants from Central Asia.

“We are seeing increased activities of Daesh branches in Afghanistan,” Bortnikov he told a regional security forum in Tashkent.

“Their goal is to increase a base to expand into the CIS (ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States) territory,” he was quoted by TASS state news agency as saying.

The expansion into the ex-Soviet countries “will be done by militants who are citizens of Central Asian republics with experience of warfare as members of terrorist groups,” Bortnikov said.

The comments come on the heels of an attack Wednesday on a border post in Tajikistan which officials blamed on members of the Daesh, who crossed over from Afghanistan.

Tajikistan authorities said 15 attackers were killed and four detained, while a soldier and a policeman were also killed.

Daesh militants have also claimed several attacks in Tajikistan, including a hit-and-run raid that killed four Western tourists on a cycling trip last summer.

In recent years, Daesh has established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

Last February, some months after the group’s defeat was announced in Iraq and Syria, the Associated Press reported that the US military was pulling its forces from a base in Iraq and shifting them to Afghanistan.

The report flew in the face of Trump’s campaign promises to end Washington’s Afghanistan intervention.

In April, unnamed US officials warned that Daesh-affiliated terrorists of the so-called ISIS-K group in Afghanistan were preparing to carry out attacks on the US mainland, the USA Today reported.

Inside Block Six

The prison wing that holds 2,000 Taliban

By Auliya Atrafi and Claire Press

Pul-e-charkhi Prison
Kabul

Warning: This article contains descriptions some readers may find upsetting.

Pul-e-Charkhi prison, on the outskirts of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, is surrounded by colossal grey stone walls topped with barbed wire, and guarded by numerous watch towers and huge steel gates. Of the 10,000 inmates, about one fifth are Taliban – Afghanistan’s hardline Islamist insurgent group.

Taliban inmate Mawlawi Fazel Bari says he wasn’t born a fighter, but after five years in prison, he says he’s never felt more ready to die.

“I have become so frustrated. I never thought I would carry out a suicide motor-bomb, but now, by god I swear I will.”

For the time being, Bari will remain incarcerated at the top-security jail. But the prison is one of a number across the country that has been releasing Taliban prisoners in unprecedented numbers, as part of a goodwill gesture by a government locked out of peace talks.

The Taliban’s long-term aim is to restore the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan – its system of governance while it was in power between 1996 and 2001 – which introduced Sharia, or Islamic law, and a harsh regime, banning women from public life and introducing punishments including stonings and amputations. It is not clear how any future Taliban regime would operate.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001, including tens of thousands of civilians.

The Taliban prisoners were open during our visit about their motivations and grievances, but reluctant to talk about their specific activities. But we do know that Mawlawi Fazel Bari joined the Taliban 15 years ago and became a commander for the group in Helmand province, fighting Afghan and international forces in that region.

Bari’s tiny prison cell is packed with Taliban members. There are queues out into the corridor – some men hunkering down in the doorways, others looking down from three-tier-high bunk beds. One elderly inmate sits on the floor, silently chanting over long prayer beads.

The floor is a sea of red carpet and cushions, and across all four walls there is a mosaic of posters depicting images of the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina, as well as generic idyllic scenes – bouquets of flowers, waterfalls, even ice cream cones.

The cell has been decorated to invoke a vision of paradise, reflecting the inmates’ fundamental belief that if they are killed in action they will go straight to heaven.

Next to the walls are improvised shelves piled high with heavy books on Islamic literature and the Koran.

Bari begins to preach and all eyes turn to him. He is also a former senior scholar, and as such his fellow inmates hold him in high regard.

“I tell you this,” he says, “as long as there is one foreign soldier in Afghanistan, peace is not possible.”

The Taliban in Afghanistan were accused of providing a sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda movement – blamed for the co-ordinated terror attacks on the US in September 2001. After 19 years of war between the Taliban and the US-led forces, the conflict in Afghanistan is now the longest in US history.

President Donald Trump seemed close to a deal with the Taliban in September. But he abruptly called off peace talks after the militants admitted responsibility for a bomb blast in Kabul that killed 12, including a US soldier.

The US says it still has at least 13,000 troops in the country. As part of a draft deal with the Taliban – currently off the table following the break down of talks – it promised to reduce them to 8,600 within the first five months of it being signed.

Mr Trump pledged during his 2016 presidential campaign that he would end the US war in Afghanistan. But many critics believe without involving the Afghan government – so far not included in the peace talks – such a withdrawal could leave the country in chaos.


Walking into Block Six feels like entering Taliban territory. The long corridors are full of Taliban inmates moving freely around – shaving, showering, cooking.

Bari’s cellmates hail from all walks of Afghan life. They are former teachers, farmers, traders and drivers who have been tried and convicted of also belonging to the Taliban – found guilty of a variety of roles, from collecting taxes, to patrolling as a foot soldier, to planting bombs.

Elders such as Bari co-ordinate the daily prison schedule – leading inmates through hours of worship and Islamic studies. During meal times and the prisoners’ designated hour outside, politics dominates the conversation.

Many say that they were initially motivated to join the Taliban out of revenge, often in retaliation against airstrikes.

“When the American forces carried out an airstrike over my village [15 years ago] my neighbour and his two wives died, but their youngest, a boy called Rahmatullah, survived,” says Bari.

“I adopted the boy and helped him to study. But every time he heard the sound of helicopters overhead, he would run to me screaming: ‘They have come to kill me.’”

He says he was motivated to join the war after he saw “too many mosques being destroyed, and women and children killed”.

Another Taliban elder in the prison, Mullah Sultan, also says he wanted to stand against the “atrocities” he witnessed. “As an Afghan I saw it as my right to raise my voice and say I don’t accept these invaders,” he says.


Over the past decade the gradual withdrawal of foreign troops by the US-led coalition has been offset by an increase in airstrikes, which are frequently inaccurate, incurring substantial civilian losses.

In the first half of 2019, the UN says that more civilians were killed by Afghan and US-led forces than by Taliban forces.

However, insurgent forces including the Taliban have been responsible for most civilian deaths over the past decade, according to the UN.

If the Taliban inmates say developments on the battlefield are motivating young men to join the Taliban, they also appear to be fuelling their grievances while in prison.

Leaders like Bari are believed to receive sermons from their superiors, and even from Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme leader, and then pass down their teachings directly to the prisoners.

News on the peace talks, when they were going on, was also eagerly shared.


“We know the foreigners are tired,” says Mullah Sultan.

“We believe they are on their knees and will soon be on their way. We Afghans will live together under the umbrella of Sharia [Islamic law] and an Islamic system.”

The Taliban inmates seem to enjoy greater privileges than other prisoners, such as controlling their own timetable, running the prison’s madrassa [religious school], as well as better access to health care and legal aid.

And their unity and clear chains of command appear to have given them more influence within the prison. As a result they sometimes represent the entire population of Pul-e-Charkhi to lobby for better conditions. The guards recognise that they present a united front, who, as another Taliban prison elder, Mawlawi Mamur, tells us, “will die for each other’s rights”.

The guards say the relationship between themselves and the Taliban prisoners is collaborative.

“The sense of co-operation is very strong between us and the Taliban inmate leaders,” says 28-year-old guard Rahmudin, the commander of Block Six.

“There are up to 2,000 inmates at any one time, so we need their co-operation and to solve their problems.”

But regular strikes by Taliban inmates in Pul-e-Charkhi over their conditions suggest the relationship is not always mutual.

The inmates told the BBC that they regularly hold hunger strikes by sewing their lips together or piercing bicycle spokes through their mouths to protest against what they claim to be poor conditions at the prison such as inadequate medical attention, slow legal processing and the mistreatment of prisoners by guards.

There are also reports of Taliban prisoners attacking the prison guards, even sometimes taking control of part of the prison.

The BBC contacted the Ministry of Interior Affairs to verify these reports but did not receive a response. However every few months it receives photos of the strikes, and calls and messages pleading for help.

Earlier this year, clashes between prisoners and guards resulted in the deaths of four inmates and the injury of 33 other people, including 20 police officers. Unconfirmed reports said that the inmates had been demonstrating about a lack of health facilities, but a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Affairs told the BBC at the time that the clashes followed a check for drugs and was instigated by drug dealers in the prison.

Living for years in such volatile conditions serves to harden the attitudes of these prisoners.

And some of them have been, or are due to be, released in unprecedented numbers. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in June that some 887 Taliban prisoners would be freed from Pul-e-Charkhi and other prisons.

It is traditional for the president to announce dozens of prisoner releases to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid, but this was an unprecedented gesture which critics have interpreted as a show of power by a government excluded from the US-Taliban peace talks.

The Taliban refused to hold direct negotiations with the government as they do not recognise its legitimacy.

Bari is due to serve his sentence for another two years, although he is adamant that when he is freed he will continue his jihad, or holy war.

“When I am released from here I will rejoin my ranks. Before I was 20% [committed], but now I am 100% committed to carrying on my jihad and defending my country.”

One of those who has been released under the presidential pardons is his friend and former cellmate Qari Sayed Muhammed, now home in Taliban territory.

Qari Sayed Muhammed, 32, lives in Balkh province, northern Afghanistan – deep in Taliban territory. He spent six years in Pul-e-Charkhi prison.

As the only remaining male in his family – his father and two brothers were killed while he was in jail – he says for now he must stay at home to run the family farm.

He believes that of those prisoners recently freed, he is one of only a handful who are still alive.

“I believe 95% of those recently released have rejoined the Taliban and a lot of them have already died,” he says.

While his former fellow inmate Bari was motivated by revenge, Muhammed says he joined the Taliban – at 18 years old, along with 15 of his friends – as a way of escaping police harassment.

“Harassment is a part of village life. Often, if someone told the police lies about us, they would harass us. So we thought if they are going to arrest us anyway, we might as well take our fate into our own hands.”

Violence and corruption within Afghan police forces has been acknowledged as a widespread problem across the country by several human rights organisations.

There are, however, a multitude of reasons why a young Afghan man might join the Taliban – a reaction to indiscriminate shooting and shelling; unemployment; a desire for war booty such as weapons, vehicles and ammunition which they can later sell; and even peer pressure.

One of Muhammed’s first jobs for the Taliban was collecting its mandatory taxes. Riding out on motorbikes in a unit of six men or fewer, he would demand money from every opium farm – legal in Taliban territory – from across four districts.

As a foot soldier, Muhammed says there was no official salary, but all his expenses were covered, from ammunition and fuel to mobile credit.

He says it was some three years later – with the war intensifying across the country – that his motivation shifted, and he embraced the Taliban’s jihad or holy war against all foreign troops.

“I was 21 when I slung a gun over my shoulder. I remember thinking I was entering into a battle against the infidels, for the defence of Muslims. This thought has stayed with me and will until the end.”

Following the ideology of a jihadi, he says whenever he feared for his life he would try to counter concerns for his family with the thought that he would be fulfilling his religious duty if he were to be killed.

He describes a mission during which his unit was ambushed in a village on flat ground, and he was being fired on with a Russian machine gun.

“It’s during these moments that your brain starts working really fast. You begin thinking: ‘What will happen to my household? My children? My wife?’ That’s when the devil tries to distract you, tempt you into thinking about your family. But I tried to focus all my attention on the fact that I was serving Allah.”

Muhammed was captured by the Afghan intelligence services in 2013 and sent to Pul-e-Charki.

He believes, of the 15 young men with whom he first left his village to join the Taliban, only two are still alive.

After decades of war, Afghanistan has become a patchwork of different territories. With only 20%-30% of the country controlled by the government, the Taliban now control, or contest, more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001.

Opportunities for young men are slim, and many feel the obvious choice is to join the fighting. But often where they are born can determine who they fight for.

When Nematullah was 24 years old and living in Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan, he decided to devote his life to the Afghan National Army.

His story reflects the potential for bureaucratic chaos in a nation in turmoil.

After three years of travelling and fighting all over Afghanistan, Nematullah and his unit were sent to guard an isolated outpost in the mountainous region of Chinartu, Uruzgan province.

Small cells of Taliban would frequently attack the outpost, and Nematullah and his fellow soldiers got used to the routine of exchanging a few rounds until their adversaries were driven back.

But one night, the Taliban attacked in huge numbers. Nematullah’s unit was overwhelmed.

“The fighting went on forever and as dawn broke we ran out of ammo,” he says.

“They handcuffed and blindfolded us. Then beat us with the end of their guns. They called us infidels, slaves of the non-Muslims.

“As they led us away, I was counting every step towards death.”

Only days later, Nematullah’s family was contacted by the Afghan Ministry of Defence to tell them their son had been killed and they were to come and collect their son’s body from the morgue.

Within hours of receiving the closed coffin, the family held a funeral for their lost son. They were told the casket had been sealed shut because his body was unrecognisable.

For 18 months, his family, including his new fiancé, continued to make daily visits to his grave, bringing fresh flowers and offering their prayers.

Back in Uruzgan, Nematullah had been taken deep into the mountains, to a huge winding network of caves. Along with 54 other captives, he was made to dig his own cell from out of the rock face.

For a year and a half, he shared his self-built cell with 11 other men, all Afghan army and police recruits. Their hands and feet were chained for almost 24 hours a day.

Nematullah remembers the Taliban giving them so little bread, the monotony of captivity was almost as bad as the hunger. Until finally, one evening around midnight, Nematullah and his cell mates were awoken by the deafening sound of explosions all around them.

They were positioned directly beneath an airstrike, and the destruction it created allowed them to break free.

The first thing he did was to ring his father.

“‘It’s me, Nemat,’ I said. To which my father replied, ‘Which Nemat?’ ‘Your son,’ I said. But he still didn’t believe me.’”

Only several selfies later, did his father finally believe that his son was alive.

Arriving home to Kunar on the first day of Ramadan, word had already spread of his return. A party was under way, but before rejoining his family, Nematullah had one important visit to make – to the graveyard to offer a prayer for his fellow fallen soldier.

Since his return, Nematullah and recently married wife have not stopped their daily visits to the grave of the unidentified soldier. They say he is now their brother and their responsibility.

Such cases of mistaken identity are not unique – the BBC has learned of several such incidents, of kidnapped Afghan soldiers returning home to find their family have buried the wrong body after being given a sealed coffin by the government. The Afghan government has declined to comment.

Despite the trauma of being held captive, Nematullah says he must return to the battlefield and continue to serve his country.


Civilian territory
Kabul
Afghanistan’s capital

Decades of war have left many ordinary civilians feeling paralysed, and those wielding the least power and facing the most insecurity are women and children.

For those women living in major government-controlled cities, life has changed dramatically since the days of Taliban rule. With the formation of an elected government, and Afghan and allied forces creating a relative level of security, more girls have gone to school, and more women have gone to work.

Under Taliban rule, girls’ access to education was almost zero.

Since then literacy has climbed to 37% of adolescent girls, although this is still one of the lowest rates in the world.

However, for those living in the Taliban-controlled areas, women’s freedom to access education and work remains limited, and many fear if the group were to gain more power, their freedoms would be further curtailed.

“Women will lose out of course,” says Nargis, a 30-year-old teacher and mother of six who lives in the north of Kabul.

“They won’t be allowed to be educated, or go to work – we will lose the most.”

The Taliban have stated that they are now committed to women’s rights, but many critics are sceptical about how far the Taliban have transformed themselves.

Nargis is one of them.

“I doubt that the Taliban have changed. Because as they talk peace, explosions continue, killing our Muslim brothers and mothers. What change is that?”

Nargis says the arrival of the Taliban and the subsequent unrest is the reason she missed out on an education.

“I was in class four of school when the Taliban came. Fighting began and schools were closed down. Girls weren’t allowed to leave their house. I was only nine or 10 when I took to the scarf [was forced to wear the hijab] and sat at home, never leaving it out of fear. We then migrated to Pakistan – school was left behind. After returning home, now I realise I’m missing a lot.”

She is adamant that her youngest daughter, eight-year-old Sola who is currently in school, will not suffer the same fate.

What Sola has already been educated in is the violence of war – she recently witnessed the horror of a Taliban suicide bomber.

“I saw a bomb go off. I saw young people die,” she says. “I was really scared, I was crying; my mum held on to me, put me in a taxi and brought us home.”

As the daily violence continues unabated across Afghanistan, peace talks seem to be the country’s only hope for change. However, getting first the US and Taliban around the table, and then including the Afghan government in the talks, seems a tough order.

The Afghan government say they will only meet the Taliban if a month-long ceasefire is agreed by all sides. In response the Taliban have said they will only sit down with the government after the full withdrawal of all foriegn troops from the country.

So it is perhaps unsurprising that civilians like Nargis are sceptical of any lasting change in the country.

“I don’t think peace will come. Afghanistan has become a cloth which everyone pulls in a different direction. It’s difficult to distinguish who is a friend and who is a foe,” she says.

“Whether it’s the Americans, the Taliban or the government that takes over – our demand is just peace.”

Some names have been changed.

Credits

Authors: Auliya Atrafi and Claire Press

Additional reporting: Ibrahim Safi, Zabihullah Rahimzai, Najib Pasoon, Zuhal Ahad, Zamzama Niazi

Producer: Claire Press

Photography: Ed Ram, Auliya Atrafi, Ibrahim Safi, Claire Press, Derrick Evans

Editor: Sarah Buckley

Published: November 2019

Khalid Afg (خالد افغان)
@khalid_Afg4

New Map of #Taliban Controlled Areas in #Afghanistan.

 

 

Hashim Wahdatyar
@hashimwahdat
د #سیګار تازه راپور:

د #افغانستان حکومت د فساد پر ضد بریالۍ مبارزه روانه کړې.

د سیګار مشر جان سوپکو له ولسمشر غني سره په لیدنه کې د فساد پر ضد مبارزه کې د حکومت لاسته راوړنې ستایلې دي.

 

ट्रम्प ने तालिबान के साथ ख़ुफ़िया बैठक और शांति वार्ता रद्द कर दी

काबुल में तालिबान हमले में एक अमरीकी सैनिक की मौत के बाद शनिवार को अमरीका के राष्ट्रपति डोनल्ड ट्रंप ने तालिबान के साथ शांति वार्ता रद्द करने की घोषणा कर दी।

लगातार कई ट्वीट करके ट्रम्प ने बताया कि उन्होंने रविवार को कैंप डेविड स्थित राष्ट्रपति कम्पाउंड में तालिबान के मुख्य नेताओं के साथ होने वाली ख़ुफ़िया मुलाक़ात रद्द कर दी है।

ट्रम्प ने यह भी बताया कि वे अफ़ग़ान राष्ट्रपति के साथ भी मुलाक़ात करने वाले थे।

अमरीकी राष्ट्रपति ने अपने ट्वीट में कहा, अगर वे बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण शांति वार्ता के दौरान युद्ध विराम पर सहमत नहीं हो सकते और 12 निर्दोष लोगों की हत्या कर देते हैं, तो शायद उनके पास एक सार्थक समझौते पर बातचीत करने की शक्ति नहीं है।

ट्रम्प का कहना था कि मैं तत्काल रूप से बैठक और शांति वार्ता को रद्द कर रहा हूं। यह किस तरह के लोग हैं जो सौदेबाज़ी में अपनी स्थिति मज़बूत करने के लिए इतने लोगों की जान ले लेते हैं।

गुरुवार को काबुल में हुए कार बम धमाके में एक अमरीकी सैनिक समेत 12 लोगों की मौत हो गई थी। तालिबान ने इस हमले की ज़िम्मेदारी ली थी।

अभी यह स्पष्ट नहीं है कि तालिबान-अमरीका शांति वार्ता स्थायी रूप से रद्द कर दी गई है या इसे अस्थायी रूप से रोका गया है।

अमरीका, अफ़ानिस्तान में युद्ध हार गया है

Oct ०८, २०१८ १९

17 वर्ष पूर्व 7 अक्तूबर 2001 को अमरीका ने अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर हमला किया था, लेकिन 17 वर्ष बीत जाने के बाद वाशिंगटन और उसके घटकों को न केवल इस देश में कोई सफलता नहीं मिली है, बल्कि वे यह जंग हार गए हैं।

जिस तरह से अफ़ग़ानिस्तान की अधिकांश जनता का मानना है कि अमरीका, उनके देश में यह युद्ध हार गया है, उसी तरह अमरीकी जनता का भी यही मानना है कि उनका देश अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में युद्ध हार रहा है और अमरीकी सैनिकों को इस देश से निकल जाना चाहिए।

अमरीका ने नाइन इलेवन की घटना के बाद अल-क़ायदा और तालिबान को ख़त्म करने के दावे के साथ अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर धावा बोल दिया था। इसके अलावा अमरीका का दावा था कि वह चरमपंथ को मिटाकर इश देश में शांति व्यवस्था की स्थापना कर देगा। हालांकि ज़मीनी सच्चाई यह बताती है कि न केवल अमरीका अपने घोषित लक्ष्यों में से एक भी हासिल नहीं कर सका है, बल्कि अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पहले से भी अधिक अस्थिर हुआ है और आतंकवाद एवं चरमपंथ का विस्तार पहले से भी अधिक हुआ है। इसके अलावा, अमरीकी सैनिकों की उपस्थिति में इश देश में मादक पदार्थों की पैदावार एवं तस्करी में अत्यधिक वृद्धि हुई है।

दूसरे शब्दों में कहा जा सकता है कि अमरीकी सेना कि जिसने अफ़ग़ानिस्तान की जनता को आतंकवाद एवं चरमपंथ से मुक्ति दिलाने के नारे के साथ काबुल पर हमला किया था, आज आतंकवाद के प्रसार एवं अस्थिरता का मुख्य कारण वह ख़ुद है।

अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में सक्रिय एक ग़ैर सरकारी संगठन का कहना है कि इस साल केवल सितम्बर के महीने में अमरीका और नाटो के हवाई हमलों में 100 से अधिक आम नागरिक मारे गए हैं। इस संदर्भ में काबुल यूनिवर्सिटी के एक प्रोफ़ैसर का कहना है कि अमरीकी सैनिकों की उपस्थिति हमारे देश में अशांति एवं अस्थिरता का मुख्य कारण है। अमरीका का लक्ष्य शुरू से ही शांति की स्थापना नहीं है, बल्कि उसका लक्ष्य कुछ और है, इसीलिए वह इस देश में स्थिरता नहीं चाहता है।

राजनीतिक मामलों के विशेषज्ञ माइकल ह्यूज़ का मानना है कि अमरीका की नज़र अफ़ग़ानिस्तान के खनिज संसाधनों पर है, जिसके लिए उसे इस देश में बने रहने के लिए कोई न कोई बहाना तो चाहिए होगा।

Why the Time Is Right to Talk to the Taliban

A peace process with the Taliban is almost certainly the best way to end the war in Afghanistan, and arguments for postponing efforts to get one underway overlook the costs of prolonging the conflict.

Article by Courtney Cooper

November 9, 2017

A preponderance of experts, U.S. and NATO military leaders, and senior officials in the Afghan government and those of its neighbors have concluded that the conflict cannot be won militarily. Instead, a meaningful peace process involving the Afghan government, the Afghan Taliban, and the United States, with the support of regional powers and NATO allies, almost certainly remains the best way to end the war on terms that would advance U.S. interests, but there are significant obstacles to the emergence of such a process in the next year.

Successive U.S. administrations have held mixed positions on peace talks with the Taliban, but none of them prioritized efforts to conclude the conflict through a political process. The George W. Bush administration reportedly refused a Taliban offer of surrender in 2002. The Obama administration, following its 2009 decision to surge U.S. troops to fight the Taliban, publicly signaled its openness to supporting talks between Kabul and the Taliban, promoted confidence-building measures, and facilitated the establishment of a short-lived Taliban political office in Qatar. In his August speech, President Donald J. Trump appeared open to a political settlement, but only if it followed U.S. military gains against the group. Others in his administration, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have more explicitly endorsed pursuing a settlement with the Taliban.

Skepticism about the Taliban’s willingness to negotiate in good faith may well be justified. Headline-grabbing attacks, which tend to spike during the summer fighting season, cast doubt that the Taliban is a viable partner for peace and make it harder for politicians in Kabul and Washington to reach out to the “enemy.” Peace overtures are politically costly to all the main parties to the conflict—the Afghan government, the Taliban, and the United States. However, a negotiated settlement is more achievable than a military victory and more desirable than an endless military stalemate.

Cases Against Making Peace Efforts Now
There are several arguments for delaying efforts to set the foundation for an Afghan peace process, but they all overlook the larger costs of extending—or even escalating—the conflict.

The Taliban has rejected participating in negotiations. The Taliban has frequently resisted formal negotiations with the Afghan government, which the group considers illegitimate, but it has made dozens of public statements on peace and participated in official “track one” talks, as well as civil-society-led “track two” ones, in France, Japan, China, Norway, Qatar, and, Pakistan, where U.S. officials also participated. (The Afghan government, by contrast, has in several cases opposed track two initiatives aimed at paving the ground for more formal talks.) The Taliban’s public statements in recent years have indicated a desire to seek a peaceful resolution, willingness to talk, and assurances that the group poses no threat to minorities in Afghanistan. Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada’s Eid statement in August incorporated Quranic justification for talks and affirmed a desire for a peaceful resolution. Yet there is no credible internationally backed process that offers the group a viable pathway for achieving its political goals.

The United States and Afghanistan should fight, then talk. Naturally, the United States seeks to have maximum leverage when entering a political negotiation, but not all parties can have maximum leverage at once, and unforeseen events, such as a truck bomb in Kabul’s diplomatic zone or a political crisis in Kabul, could reduce the United States’ or Kabul’s leverage. The United States should try to weaken the Taliban and strengthen the Afghan government while the war continues, but initiating serious negotiations sooner rather than later will allow the United States to gauge the Taliban’s will and intent and to act more effectively if opportunities or crises arise. Developing a negotiating strategy will help clarify for the Taliban—and the region—the United States’ broader political goals. Ultimately, if 140,000 international troops at the height of the surge in 2010–2011 failed to sustainably move the needle, the Taliban’s negotiating decisions probably do not hinge on any battlefield shift that a few thousand troops more than the current eleven thousand could realistically accomplish.

The Taliban gave safe haven to al-Qaeda. The Taliban is an Islamic nationalist political movement whose stated goal is the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan and the establishment of a more Islamic government in Afghanistan alone, and while it is fighting what it perceives to be a foreign occupation, it would probably welcome a diplomatic relationship with the United States, given U.S. influence in the region and the level of financial assistance Washington currently provides Afghanistan. The Taliban in recent years implicitly distanced itself from al-Qaeda in public statements, disavowed terrorism beyond its borders, and conspicuously failed to acknowledge al-Qaeda’s pledge of fealty to Haibatullah. Experts assess that the group recognizes [PDF] the cost of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s provision of safe haven to Osama bin Laden before and just after 9/11, a decision that was challenged unsuccessfully at the time by other senior Taliban officials. The Taliban has condemned and combated the Islamic State in Afghanistan, suggesting that the group is not allied to the global jihadi groups that currently pose the greatest threat to U.S. interests, and it could begin to alleviate U.S. concerns by formally disavowing transnational terrorism.

The Taliban should have no hope of winning on the battlefield. The best argument for international troops to remain in Afghanistan is to force a stalemate, but even if the Taliban privately recognizes it cannot break it, there can only be peace if an internationally supported political dialogue offers the group a viable alternative that it does not see as some form of surrender. Leading Taliban experts have assessed [PDF] that the group remains interested in talks, even as it perceives itself to be making military gains, for several reasons: its gains have come at a significant cost and the movement is weary of fighting, the group craves the international legitimacy it lacked during its 1996–2001 regime, and though the group has briefly overtaken provincial capitals, it cannot hold or govern them. Further, the Taliban’s openness to dialogue over the years appears to have had no relationship to pressure on the battlefield.

Arguments for Prioritizing Peace Efforts
The most important argument for prioritizing peace efforts is that it is more plausible than a battlefield win and more desirable than an endless stalemate.

The humanitarian toll is rising. Prolonging or escalating the conflict will almost certainly have humanitarian consequences, including an increase in civilian casualties and refugee flows. The United Nations assesses that the number of civilian casualties reached a record high last year since it started documenting civilian casualties in 2009, with 3,498 civilians killed and 7,920 wounded. Though the overall number of civilian casualties decreased by 6 percent in the first nine months of 2017 over the same period in 2016, the number of civilian deaths increased. During that period, the United Nations documented a 52 percent increase in civilian casualties from Afghan and coalition air strikes compared to 2016. These trends have implications for NATO partners; according to UN and EU statistics, Afghans have been second only to Syrians in seeking asylum in Europe in recent years. If civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces continue to rise, Afghans’ support for increased U.S. operations could fall.

NATO partners prioritize peace. NATO allies, which broadly welcomed the South Asia strategy and Washington’s recommitment to Afghanistan, strongly support an Afghan peace process. In many cases, their continued financial and security assistance is based on the presumption that Washington is working toward one. Though international donors pledged more than $30 billion in security and civilian assistance through 2020 at the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit and Brussels Conference, future contributions could taper if donors see no alternative to perpetual war and other international threats supersede the threat from Afghanistan.

Regional competition is likely to increase over time. Afghanistan’s neighbors could view U.S. dallying on peace efforts as a sign that a long-term presence is its real goal, and could increasingly use proxies to make its presence more costly. Pakistan continues to offer sanctuary to Taliban leaders, and there have been reports of Russia and Iran providing financial and materiel support to the Taliban. In the diplomatic arena, both China and Russia have showed a growing interest in brokering talks with the Taliban leadership. Uncertainty about U.S. motivations and staying power fuels their hedging behavior, a trend that could accelerate absent effective diplomacy in support of a political process.

The Taliban could become more radical. Despite two leadership transitions in two years and reports of increased fragmentation, the Taliban remains a generally cohesive organization. However, a failure to enter into talks with the Taliban while escalating military efforts against the group’s leadership could increase the risk of its fragmentation and radicalization. Hard-line factions may double down on fighting if they perceive the door to talks to be indefinitely closed, making political accommodation more difficult in the long run.

Washington’s Role
The United States arguably has the most leverage of any party to bring all sides to the table, but it has not fully exercised it and has missed opportunities to advance political dialogue. Announcing a South Asia strategy was a vital step in conveying the U.S. commitment to the Afghan government and its plan for stabilizing the “eroding stalemate.” Going forward, signaling that the United States is willing to discuss its long-term military presence as part of a political process is the issue most likely to draw the Taliban to the table.

There is much more Washington can do to set conditions for a peace process—including naming and empowering senior diplomats, aligning regional powers in support of that goal, and ensuring U.S. policy does not undercut Taliban moderates—all while continuing to fight the Taliban, develop Afghan security forces, and strengthen Afghan institutions. Significant obstacles to launching a peace process remain, and any process is likely to be prolonged and prone to setbacks and spoilers, and involve serious compromise on all sides. But the United States cannot know what is possible until it starts talking.

The author is an employee of the U.S. government, which is sponsoring her fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations. All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the U.S. government.

all pics source : twitter/google

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