KABUL — Taliban leaders have ruled out talks with President Hamid Karzai's government as long as foreign troops remain in Afghanistan, a purported statement from the hardline militia said Saturday.
On Friday, Mr. Karzai told reporters he was ready to negotiate with fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar if he stops receiving support from neighbouring Pakistan — where the Afghan leader alleges Mr. Omar is hiding.
The purported statement from the Taliban, sent by e-mail Saturday to The AP by militant spokesman Muhammad Hanif, dismissed Mr. Karzai's latest offer of talks and called his administration a “puppet government.”
“We say even today that there is no possibility of any talks when the country is under occupation,” the Pashto-language statement said. “Any talks with aggressors would amount to selling the country.”
What does it say when the Afghan leader finds it necessary to "reach out" to Al Qaeda's political arm? How dire the situation, that one of the world's most wanted men is asked to negotiate? How telling, that the Taliban, which were supposedly on the run, feels no urgency to deal with the Afghan government? The differing postures tell us quite alot about the state of Afghanistan. The side of "freedom" looks desperate, while the former regime seems quite willing to bide their time while things continue to unravel.
It really is staggering that Karzai finds it necessary to ask for reconciliation talks with Osama's chum. Clearly, there is a sense within the Afghan powerbase that the situation is tenious and the future more troublesome. How can Canada be expected to remain in Afghanistan if the forces they fight everyday are eventually melded into the government? What is the point of all these deaths if the outcome is capitulation? That is what these proposed "talks" really are, because the Afghan government is no match for the Taliban. Karzai is willing to legitimize the core reason why we fight in the country.
I see Karzai's overture, and the subsequent Taliban response, as the clearest indication that Afghanistan is lost. Our military objectives are destined to fail, as we engage in some sick game of whack a mole. Our leadership can speak to nobility and honor all they want, what is really relevant is how the home government views the situation. Apparently, Karzai has concluded that the Taliban is woven into Afghan society and will be a player for years to come. This conclusion begs the question- what are we doing there? The time has come to pour all our resources into re-construction(where possible), abandon the military objectives and invest in the Afghan army. There are no military objectives, Karzai has made this fact clear.