Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

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Rudradev
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 26 Jun 2018 08:16

Fazlullah == "Mullah Radio", correct?

nachiket
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nachiket » 03 Jul 2018 00:52

Rudradev wrote:Fazlullah == "Mullah Radio", correct?

Correct.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 04 Jul 2018 15:27

do we discuss/avenge only the attack on Indians in India? or Indians (Hindus/Sikhs ) in Afghanistan too haram to avenged. ISI seems to be working on the strategy of keeping attacks on forces in india and civilians outside.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 10 Jul 2018 01:05

Pompeo makes surprise visit to Kabul: Afghan official
AFP
July 9, 2018

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Kabul Monday for talks with Afghan leaders, an Afghan official said, amid renewed optimism for peace in the war-weary country.Pompeo´s first official visit to Afghanistan since he was sworn in as America´s top diplomat in April follows an unprecedented ceasefire during Eid last month.
The Islamic holiday was marked by spontaneous street celebrations involving Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.The official confirmed Pompeo´s arrival on the condition of anonymity. A joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani is due to start shortly.
The Pakis and the Afghanis have also been talking recently !
A security official told AFP that the number of Taliban attacks across the country had fallen since the ceasefire, but the claim could not be verified.US-backed President Ashraf Ghani, who is under international pressure to ensure credible parliamentary elections are held in October ahead of next year´s presidential vote, has been leading the push for peace talks.
Pompeo´s visit to Kabul comes almost a year since US President Donald Trump announced his much-vaunted South Asia strategy to tackle Afghanistan by including a broader regional approach.The aim is to convince the Taliban through diplomatic, military and social pressure that it cannot win and must reconcile.International Islamic scholars meeting in Saudi Arabia this week are expected to add their weight to stopping the Afghan conflict.

Who knows. Pompeo may do a "flying visit" to Isloo as well !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 12 Jul 2018 02:03

Astonishing and detailed investigation by POLITICO

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/ ... ban-616316

The secret story of how America lost the drug war with the Taliban

As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the Taliban commanders and allied drug lords who supplied more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin — including a growing amount fueling the nascent opioid crisis in the United States.

The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the Taliban, whose drug profits were financing the growing insurgency and killing American troops. But the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, citing political concerns, ordered the plan to be shelved, according to a POLITICO investigation.


Now, its authors — Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Justice Department legal advisers at the time — are expressing anger over the decision, and hope that the Trump administration, which has followed a path similar to former President Barack Obama’s in Afghanistan, will eventually adopt the plan as part of its evolving strategy.

“This was the most effective and sustainable tool we had for disrupting and dismantling Afghan drug trafficking organizations and separating them from the Taliban,” said Michael Marsac, the main architect of the plan as the DEA’s regional director for South West Asia at the time. “But it lies dormant, buried in an obscure file room, all but forgotten.”

...



Read it all in detail but here is a top-line summary:

1. Bush Administration determined that the resurgence of the Taliban, 2005-2007, was fueled by drug money from the heroin trade
2. As Afghanistan plummeted towards becoming a narco state (with all levers of governance, justice, and law enforcement coming under control of heroin suppliers), US began to put together "Operation Reciprocity". This was primarily a US Dept of Justice operation helmed by the DEA. The idea was that with the collaboration of the Kabul regime, the highest leadership of the narco-trafficking organizations could be decapitated (similar to successful efforts in Colombia etc. during the 1980s-90s). This would in turn block the flow of drug money to the Taliban.
3. The plans for Operation Reciprocity were finally coming to fruition in May 2013.
4. In July 2013, Operation Reciprocity was abruptly terminated by Deputy Chief of Mission Wendy Kaidanow, a staffer of the Obama Administration State Department (under Nishan-e-Pakistan John Kerry). The official reason given was that to continue with its implementation would interfere with Obama Administration's goal of a complete "draw-down" from Afghanistan by 2014. DEA officials surmise that intra-departmental rivalry between State Dept and Dept of Justice may have played a role.
5. Operation Reciprocity was never taken up again. Many DEA officials believe that it would have changed the course of the war, had it been carried through and all the money trails followed to their logical conclusions.

For us, of course, there is one more data point NOT covered in the article.

David Coleman Headley was recruited into the DEA for unspecified services in Afghanistan. The services are very likely to have involved Operation Reciprocity. Given what we know... that Headley himself was an ISI operative, it becomes obvious that Operation Reciprocity was compromised even before 2008, because obviously the primary beneficiary of the drug trade is ISI and Pakistan military. The shutting down of Operation Reciprocity may have stemmed from (1) a realization that it had been compromised by the same Paki-state criminal networks whom it was targeting (2) a realization that following through with it would have required openly targeting the very top leadership of TSPA and ISI in international criminal investigations.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 02 Aug 2018 21:47

X posted from Terroristan Thread

Paki Agent Robin Raphael Still Willing To Do Pakistan's "Dirty Work" :roll:

Inside the Secret Taliban Talks to End America’s Longest War
Daily Beast
Aug 2, 2018

If the United States’ longest foreign war actually draws to a negotiated close, a significant amount of credit will go to a former U.S. Army colonel and a former senior U.S. diplomat. (AKA A Paki Agent !)
In November, Chris Kolenda and Robin Raphel boarded a plane to Doha, Qatar, for a conversation with Taliban representatives. It was the beginning of a quiet channel, never authorized by U.S. officials—who neither paid them nor asked them to carry any messages—that proved to be instrumental in convincing the Trump administration, and particularly senior Pentagon and U.S. military officials, that there was a real chance to broker an end to the war.
Sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan :roll:
Kolenda, an Afghanistan veteran himself, had been here before. He had been part of an ultimately fruitless attempt during the Obama administration to talk with the Taliban. But this time, talking with the Taliban in Doha, “I was struck by what I detected was a much higher level of seriousness about bringing the conflict to a close than I saw in 2011,” Kolenda told The Daily Beast. This "movie" has been played before as well . The details are in Steve Coll's latest book !
That seriousness was manifested through Taliban leaders showing pliability about the future of the U.S. troop presence. Despite their strident public position that U.S. troops must withdraw, the Taliban communicated to Raphel and Kolenda that there were circumstances under which they can envision living with a continued American military presence. And they again vowed that an Afghanistan open to Taliban political participation would not host a foreign terrorist presence, satisfying the central U.S. objective of the 17-year war. Pakistan and the Taliban cannot be trusted. Nothing short of a pro Pakistan and an anti - India Govt is acceptable to the sponsors of the Taliban !
From Kolenda’s perspective, all that meant the Taliban were willing to live with the core interests—no terrorism, stability under an inclusive and legitimate government, human-rights protections, curbing the narcotics trade—that the U.S. had been futilely fighting to secure.
But skepticism in Washington about the Taliban ran high, as did habituation to such a long war. Kolenda and Raphel encountered it when briefing administration officials after their trip. During a follow-up visit in Doha in January, which Cotta-Ramusino couldn’t attend, the Americans urged the Taliban to make a public statement that signaled their willingness for diplomacy on terms the U.S. could accept.
Within the Trump administration, there was also strong skepticism that the Taliban could deliver on the promises they heard via Kolenda and Raphel. For years, U.S. officials have held that the Taliban are a decentralized umbrella group of factions, rather than a united force. The impact of that conventional wisdom is to render diplomacy pointless, since it was unknown if Taliban interlocutors actually spoke for anyone else. A procession of military officers, for the better part of a decade, have preached fracturing the Taliban through “reconciliation” efforts, despite their dismal track record.
Everyone involved in the process emphasizes that it has barely begun. Every hard question about the future course of Afghanistan, and the U.S. presence within it, remains untested by the likely arduous diplomacy ahead. That diplomacy must contend with the scars of two generations of war in Afghanistan.
But it’s diplomacy among combatants. It’s not fighting indefinitely with little more than gestures at maybe finding a way out of conflict through training Afghans and gradually withdrawing, as if the Taliban are irrelevant to the future.“It’s our responsibility and our duty to pursue a diplomatic solution to this conflict and the way things have evolved in the last year or so, it’s clear there is an opportunity. It’s our responsibility to seize it,” Raphel said. “We can’t stand by and let it pass, considering the number of Afghans, Americans, and others who have died in this war.”
And for Kolenda, the process ahead represents the closest thing the U.S. can call victory: an accord on the future of Afghanistan to secure war aims left over from the 9/11 attacks. “You’ve got to put personal animosities aside and look at what’s in the national interest,” Kolenda said. “It’s not easy to do. It’s not easy to put aside those personal feelings. But you’ve got to do it, in order, essentially, to win a war through a negotiated outcome. It’s an obligation.”
With Raphael involved in the talks, not sure if she represents US interests or Paki interests !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 09 Aug 2018 01:03

X posted from Terroristan Thread

Shocking Claim By Hamid Karzai, Ex President Of Afghanistan !

Karzai concerned regarding alleged financial US support to fence Durand Line
Khama Press
Aug 7, 2018

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed concerns regarding the alleged financial US support to Pakistan for fencing the Durand Line.The Office of the Former President in a statement said Hamid Karzai is deeply concerned over the US financial assistance to Pakistan for fencing the Durand Line.The statement further added that the former President strongly condemns the move and call it it a violation of our rights and sovereignty.He said “The US funding to Pakistan for fencing the Durand line is helping Pakistan’s policy of separating Afghans on both sides of the Durand Line.Karzai further added that the Durand line was imposed by the British colonial rule which the Afghans have not and will never accept.
Pakistan started work on fencing the line in June last year, covering the areas which according to the Pakistani authorities are the most prone in terms of the movement of the militants.Major General Nauman Zakaria, the commander for the South Waziristan tribal region had earlier told reporters that no “terrorist” will be able to use Afghan or Pakistani soil to launch cross-border attacks after the fencing is completed.

Of course, some of the recent agitation in Waziristan can be partly explained because of this ! The Pakhtuns on the Paki side are denied free movement to the other side and vice versa due to the so -called "terrorists" crossing over from Afghanistan to Pakistan and "doing terrorism" there. The Pakis must be convinced the (naive) Americans that they cannot "control terrorism" unless they build the fence . And since, they do not have money, the Americans probably obliged . And the Pakis have "succeeded" in dividing the Pashtuns of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in the name of "fighting terrorism" . That is my interpretation anyway . And therefore Karzai is protesting !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 09 Aug 2018 06:09

Subramanian Swamy's advice to Modi Govt !

Subramanian Swamy
‏Verified account @Swamy39
Jul 28

Biggest strategic decision for Namo: Sign a Indo-Afghanistan military assistance treaty and help Afghans with US armoury, or allow US to handover the country to Taliban and leave. Just have one year to decide
118 replies 1,718 retweets 6,039 likes

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 16 Aug 2018 15:09

X Posted from the IWT thread.

Bravo! India needs to provide all the help to Afghanistan to squeeze the last drop of water from the Kabul River Basin. Not a drop of water must be permitted to cross over from Afghanistan to the Mohammadden Terrorism fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan. India must help the Shahtoot dam to be completed as early as possible.

India-backed Afghan dam to put Pakistan under pressure

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 18 Aug 2018 04:40

Some curious things happening in Afghanistan (why is this thread so quiet nowadays, BTW? Have we given up on AfPak?)

1) November 2017 to July 2018: US Officials (including Robin Raphel and one Chris Kolenda) met several times with Taliban representatives for talks in Doha, Qatar.

The tone set by Robin Raphel in this report is very defeatist for the US. Her very presence at these talks makes it clear that the Pakis were the primary players behind the scenes.

https://www.axios.com/us-taking-more-ha ... a5768.html

Peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan may be further along than previously thought, according to the Daily Beast's Spencer Ackerman.

The details:
Former U.S. Army Colonel Chris Kolenda and former U.S. Ambassador Robin Raphel have been speaking with Taliban representatives since November, having a series of meetings in Doha, Qatar. What began as an unauthorized trip "proved to be instrumental in convincing the Trump administration... that there was a real chance" to end the U.S.' longest war.

The context:
Peace in Afghanistan has been elusive, to put it mildly, but a ceasefire between the Taliban and the Afghan government in June planted another seed of hope. President Trump ordered direct negotiations with the Taliban in July, after growing frustrated with the lack of progress since unveiling his Afghanistan strategy last year.

Kolenda told the Daily Beast that although he had been involved in talks during the Obama administration, this go-around was different because of the seriousness expressed by the Taliban during their meeting in Doha.

Publicly, Taliban officials continue to say that foreign occupation of Afghanistan is a non-starter for negotiations. But, Ackerman reports, they've "indicated an extraordinary flexibility" in private.

Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, the secretary general of the arms control group Pugwash Conferences who has been instrumental in keeping lines open to the Taliban, told the Daily Beast: "They don't want the troops, but if there are enough guarantees that the troops aren't fighting them, :shock: then it can be discussed."

"The American government's position has evolved. They finally came to accept that it really is a stalemate. While the Taliban can't win in a traditional way, we can't win either."
— Robin Raphel
Can you believe the person making this statement to the press is supposed to be a GOTUS representative? She sounds like exactly what she is... a Paki/ISI representative.

State Department officials are maintaining that the U.S. is playing a supporting role in negotiations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said previously that the U.S. will "support, facilitate, and participate" in peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but the talks will be primarily between those two entities.

Kolenda, Raphel and Cotta-Ramusino traveled to Kabul on June 23 to meet with Afghan officials. Ackerman reports that they heard "enthusiasm for the peace process and a sense that the U.S. needed to help break the diplomatic logjam inhibiting it."

The bottom line: This process has barely begun, per Ackerman; "[e]very hard question about the future course of Afghanistan, and the U.S. presence within it, remains untested."


2) But then, this month, the June Ceasefire went up with multiple bangs. Having taken advantage of the cessation in fighting to re-group, re-arm, and re-strategize (as all terrorist groups do when the pressure is alleviated), the Taliban are launching major offensives across Afghanistan.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tali ... ng-n900141
Taliban assault on Ghazni kills 120 people: Aug 13. Ghazni is overrun, besieged, and partially occupied for a few days. It has still not been completely cleared. Note that this was the Taliban's first attempt to seize a major urban center since their attack on Kunduz in 2015.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/ ... 25633.html
Afghanistan: Dozens of security forces killed in Taliban attack : Aug 15. At least 40 soldiers and police killed in major assault on a base in Baghlan in the latest Taliban onslaught.

3) Meanwhile ISIS also stepped up activity, with a suicide bombing in Kabul that targeted students, killing 48 and injuring 67:
https://www.axios.com/suicide-bombing-t ... 66090.html

So what happened?

Anything to do with Imran Khan becoming the Paki PM in July? Maybe the TSPA/ISI is taking advantage of the apparent regime change to hold out for an even better deal, since they know Robin Raphel will push the Trump govt. to agree to any demands they make.

4) However, the usual Paki trick of bait-and-switch blackmail might well backfire this time around :mrgreen:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... id/537324/

Trump is reportedly giving serious consideration to the proposal by Erik Prince of Blackwater/Xe to "privatize" the war in Afghanistan. This would entail outsourcing the Afghan war completely to private military contractors, up to and including an independently operated air wing, with concurrent winding down of the official US and NATO military missions there.

If Trump goes ahead with this, it will mean he has given up on the Paki/Taliban back-channel diplomacy that Robin Raphel et al were supposedly pursuing in Doha. It will also lead to many more years of misery for common Afghans as the war is made to perpetuate itself endlessly... unlike the conventional US armed forces, who are responsible to US Congress, private military contractors have no interest in any cessation of hostilities, because continuing warfare is their profit motive. Whatever oversight there has been in terms of ensuring non-targeting of civilians, curtailing human rights abuses, etc. will also be removed.

In addition, privatized conflicts often tend to proliferate beyond the initial brief... there is a good chance (I hope) that the fighting will spill over into Pakistan proper.

Maybe this plan to privatize the Afghan War is what Nikki Haley informed Modi and Sushma Swaraj about, when she visited India earlier this summer (at the time the 2X2 dialogues were postponed?)

SSridhar ji in particular, I would love to hear your thoughts on all this.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 18 Aug 2018 13:49

Privatizing war would lead to mercenarization of US military.

Rudradev
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rudradev » 20 Aug 2018 20:10

A lot is going on in AfPak but it seems 99.99% of BRF is 404. Too much Looking East?

To continue with the story in my post above: Both Taliban and ISIS mounted large-scale, deadly attacks last week.

Ashraf Ghani responded by offering ANOTHER (3-Month) Ceasefire, on the occasion of Id-ul-Adha.

https://thedefensepost.com/2018/08/19/a ... ceasefire/

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani declared a provisional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban in a televised broadcast.

Anticipation had been mounting ahead of Ghani’s speech following mixed signals from the presidential palace over whether the government would offer a fresh truce – following a brief ceasefire in June.

“The conditional ceasefire will start tomorrow and it will continue as long as the Taliban preserves and respects it,” Ghani said on Sunday, August 19, Reuters reported.

Ghani said the ceasefire, which begins on the Eid al-Adha holiday, would continue until the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday which Afghanistan celebrates on November 21, AFP reported.

Ghani said his administration removed “all obstacles” to peace with the announcement following consultations with religious scholars, political parties and civil society groups.

“We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace, and we urge them to get ready for peace talks based on Islamic values and principles,” :roll: he said, in an announcement as Afghans celebrated their independence day.

Ghani’s announcement followed a bloody week of fighting across Afghanistan which saw the Taliban launch a massive assault against the provincial capital Ghazni. The days-long battle killed hundreds. Taliban militants also captured an Afghan military base in Faryab province, and attacked military bases in Baghlan and Zabul provinces.

The Taliban did not immediately respond to the offer, but in a message from its leader published over the weekend to mark Eid al-Adha the group continued to push for direct talks with the United States. So Taliban is telling Ghani/Afghan-Gov to FO... they want to talk directly to the US (meaning the panel chaired by Paki-ISI dalal Robin Raphel), or nothing at all.

Washington has repeatedly refused, saying negotiations must be Afghan-led. Last month, however, Taliban representatives met U.S. officials for talks in Qatar, though little is known about the details of the meeting. In other words, it failed. Robin Raphel made commitments to the Taliban in tune with what her Paki-ISI paymasters wanted, and when the terms of the deal were communicated to Washington, Pompeo and Trump said go to hell.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Ghani’s announcement and called on the Taliban to participate.
Good sign; it seems Washington is giving up on Paki Raphel and her Track Thoo in Doha.

“We remain ready to support, facilitate, and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban,” he said in a statement. “There are no obstacles to talks. It is time for peace.”

Ghani’s announcement was also welcomed in neighboring Pakistan, which has long been accused of fostering links with the Taliban’s leadership and providing sanctuary to its fighters.

The overlapping government and Taliban ceasefires in June – the first such truce in the country since the 2001 U.S. invasion – spurred hopes that a new path was opening for possible peace talks in the country to the end the nearly 17-year-old war.

Ghani has made peace overtures to the Taliban before. In February he laid out plans for a possible settlement with the group, including a ceasefire, prisoner release, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party.

Ghani did not mention any ceasefire with other militant groups including Islamic State – Khorasan Province, which has expanded since it first emerged in the region in 2014 and was not included in the June ceasefire
.


Taliban has continued to mount attacks, despite the ceasefire offer. In Kunduz, Taliban terrorists hijacked three passenger buses (full of people traveling to visit their families in the Id holiday season).

About 149 of the passengers were rescued by Afghan govt forces, but the Taliban continues to hold 21 hostages (believed to be Afghan Govt Officials or Security Forces personnel on leave).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... fghanistan

A possibly important observation here. During the massive assault on Ghazni last week, Taliban killed over 100 Afghan Security Forces personnel, but only 35 civilians. During the bus raid, again, the hostages they held on to are govt. officials and security forces personnel... they seem to have let the 149 ordinary civilians go without much of a fight.

It seems the Taliban is being careful to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage, even as it specifically targets Ghani's govt and security forces, for the time being. It may be positioning itself to gain popular support for a political comeback.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 21 Aug 2018 00:19

There was an observer on BBC radio who said that Ghani govt has not made use of earlier peace deals during Eid. The Taliban get to visit the cities and be wit their relatives but go back and resume hostilities.
If you not eh Taliban targets the govt specifically.
I think Ghani suffers from the ruling syndrome not governing. He rules the cities while the Taliban the rural countryside.
No effort to break the stalemate by Ghani. Periodically the Taliban besiege a city and take control. This gives bad vibrations to the civilians that Ghani is not really in charge. By now a competent Afghan intel service wold have mapped the locations of the Taliban and went after them. But Ghani is caretaker for US interests and they will buy of his opposition. US should have allowed Abdullah^2 to gain power instead of the Pashtun nitwit.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby AshishT » 23 Aug 2018 11:08

Taliban to travel to Moscow for peace talks after 17 years of war

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ars-of-war

The Afghan Taliban will travel to Moscow for peace talks next month in a high-profile embrace of public diplomacy that will be a landmark for the group and their Russian hosts after 17 years of war.

“The first reaction was positive, they are planning to take part in the meeting,” the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said, adding that he hoped for productive negotiations at the talks, which will bring together a dozen groups including regional heavyweights China, Iran and Pakistan, starting on 4 September.

The Taliban did not officially comment on the reports from Moscow, but a senior member of the group confirmed to the Associated Press that they would send a delegation “for the sake of finding peace in Afghanistan”.

The official said the group plans to send representatives to other countries in the region, including Pakistan and China, “to take them into confidence and address their concerns”.

The talks in Moscow would mark the Taliban’s first public participation in a regional forum since they were ousted from power in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on America. They were invited to a previous round of talks in Russia last year but did not attend.

The talks will come after a wave of intense violence, but also in the wake of increased diplomatic outreach by the insurgent group and a series of peace overtures from the Afghan government.

A ceasefire in June, during the Eid holiday at the end of the month of Ramadan, showed huge public appetite for ending decades of war. It also showed the Taliban had command and control over thousands of militants scattered across the country.

President Ashraf Ghani, who made the first offer to halt fighting then, called for another break in hostilities for the Eid al-Adha holiday this week.

The Taliban have not responded formally and the centre of Kabul was hit by rockets on Tuesday as Ghani made a speech on peace. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that they planned to mark an unofficial truce.

The announcement from Moscow comes after a flurry of other diplomatic activity. In recent months the Taliban sent official delegations to Uzbekistan and Indonesia, and held talks with US diplomats in Qatar, where the militants’ political wing has an unofficial base.

Both sides may have more appetite to talk now than they did a few years ago, when US-led forces insisted they could crush the Taliban and the militants argued they had the patience and morale to fight foreign forces until they gave up.

In recent years the Taliban have made gains in rural areas around Afghanistan and have briefly seized several cities, but US air support and other military backing have ensured they cannot capture and hold urban centres.

And while US president Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the cost and length of the conflict, American officials fear withdrawing support would allow militant extremists free rein again in the country where the 9/11 attacks were planned. The rise of the regional branch of Isis has only added to those concerns.

The militants have refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they denounce as a puppet, and insist they will only attempt to broker peace directly with Washington. The meeting in Moscow could offer a rare public platform for the Afghan government and senior Taliban leaders to interact directly.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but recently American officials have accused Moscow of backing and arming the Taliban. The Taliban are banned in Russia as a terrorist organisation. Moscow says it maintains contacts only because of security concerns. It fears that radical groups could use Afghanistan as a base to target Russian interests or build up cells in neighboring countries including Tajikistan, where last month four cyclists were killed in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby AshishT » 23 Aug 2018 11:48

^ IMHO by inviting Taliban to table Russians are making mistake of trying to please the radicals , it's like "साँप को दूध पिलाना".
By doing so they are signalling that negotiations can be possible with the Islamic radicals , but , what about dark green shade (ISIS) ? Are they willing to have peace deal with them too ? Because , ones a Islamic green spreads it's wing in society , only shade will become darker with time.

So future looks bleak for central Asian countries as , they have not only contributed a high quota of fighters in ISIS kitty , but also with these peace-settlements would face a launchpad for future radicalization.

I wonder what would be effect of such radicalization to Chinese Han in Xinjiang ? Maybe , HIAAIH ( Hotan Islamic Association Against Imperialist Han)

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Kashi » 23 Aug 2018 11:51

AshishT wrote:The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, supported the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but recently American officials have accused Moscow of backing and arming the Taliban.


Now isn't that irony at its finest? I wonder if the said Amreeki officials have realised so.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 23 Aug 2018 21:57

X posted from Terroristan

This US Expert Predicts Four Possible Scenarios For Afghanistan !

What Might Lie Ahead for Afghanistan?
The Diplomat
Aug 21, 2018
By Marvin G. Weinbaum and Samad Sadri

After nearly 17 years of fighting and efforts at state building, Afghanistan’s future is as clouded as ever. The conflict has at best reached a stalemate.Much of our thinking on achieving peace holds that a decisive military victory is unattainable and a negotiated political compromise with the insurgents is therefore inevitable. As envisioned, steady military pressure together with Pakistan’s exercise of influence on the Taliban will induce its reluctant leadership to negotiate. In exchange for greater recognition of their beliefs, the Taliban in a power-sharing agreement are expected to accept the prevailing constitutional framework and the social rights and economic gains achieved since 2001.Of late, there is a growing sense of optimism about peace prospects, despite a new surge of violence. Hopeful signs include President Ashraf Ghani’s generous offer to the Taliban, overlapping brief Eid ceasefires, and the emergence of a nonviolent grassroots movement pleading for peace. Hopes have risen further with revealed back-channel discussions and a Doha meeting in late July bringing together U.S. officials and Taliban representatives to discuss ways to get formal talks underway.
Yet a comprehensive political agreement with the Taliban and the linked Haqqani Network remains at best a distant prospect. The senior Taliban leadership continues to balk at having the Kabul government as a participant in negotiations and insists on the withdrawal of foreign military forces. A dominant hardcore remains confident that with persistence, a restoration of an Islamic Emirate is achievable. It is a vision of Afghanistan largely incompatible with the pluralistic, democratic system still favored by most Afghans.
The prospect of peacefully resolving the Afghan conflict in a grand bargain hammered out around a table in Doha, Geneva, or anywhere, has never been realistic. It grows out of wishful thinking born of our desperation to find a way out of a seemingly interminable conflict and has kept us from seriously facing up to other possible outcomes. Absent outright military victory over the insurgency or a comprehensive political deal, what might then lie ahead for Afghanistan?

Four plausible alternative futures of varying probability and consequence stand out, only one of which is conceivably positive.

A pathway toward a positive future would involve a gradual, incremental peace process led by an Afghan government that is able to create the incentives needed to induce individual insurgent field commanders and their fighters to lay down their arms. This process of reintegration envisions over time their disaffection from core leadership and reintegration into the economic, political, and social fabric of the country.

In a second conceivable future, the conflict continues inconclusively and indefinitely, with neither side achieving a decisive victory. It might leave the combatants fighting over the same landscape, but could also result in government forces only defending the larger population centers and in effect ceding control of much of the countryside to the Taliban and other insurgents. This scenario presumes the continued presence of foreign troops and generous international financing, and that the Kabul government is not brought down from within by clashing political interests and ambitions.

A third scenario envisions the insurgency over time overrunning Afghan security forces and compelling foreign militaries to withdraw their forces and international donors to turn their backs on Afghanistan. This outcome could also occur politically when, from a position of ever-increasing strength, the Taliban agrees to negotiate and is able to dictate peace terms. In this scenario, Afghans, exhausted from decades of conflict, most Afghans, however reluctantly, would accept the restoration of an Islamic Emirate. At the same time, millions of other Afghans will be forced to flee the country, mostly to Pakistan.
Pakistan is fencing the Durand . So, it will be the not the same as before !
A fourth, and darkest scenario, depicts the collapse of the Kabul regime, whether from internal discord or the exit of foreign forces. But instead of the Taliban’s consolidation of power, this scenario sees fractionalization within the insurgency, the fragmentation of the Afghan state into competing ethnic and other militia groups, and regional country proxy intervention – all contributing to a bloody, open-ended, and chaotic civil war.
Pakiland wants nothing less than a Pro Pakistan, Anti India regime installed in Afghanistan !
Only by confronting the full range of possible outcomes and their consequences can we fully appreciate how much is at stake for the Afghan people, the United States, and the international community in the survival of the Kabul government and prevailing constitutional system. To cling to the illusion that a negotiated shortcut to end the conflict exists detracts from the importance and urgency of undertaking the critical reforms necessary for a reintegration process to succeed.None of this means we should not be open to sincere insurgent peace overtures. But chasing after the Taliban in the hope of starting a peace process is not harmless or cost-free. It conveys to our adversaries not sincerity but desperation, and to our friends, it creates false and ultimately crushed hopes.
And the US Dilemma being that Pakiland also "controls" the US Supply route into and out of Afghanistan !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Bart S » 24 Aug 2018 03:49

This Wienbaum character is a typical Cold War era state dept relic who is enamoured with Pakistan.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nvishal » 30 Aug 2018 17:30

Image

Reported Chinese military base in Afghanistan motivated by BRI expansion; China’s greater involvement in peace process likely
Chinese media, with a track record of reliable sources in the Chinese government, reported on 28 August that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had begun constructing a military base in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.

The base will be located along the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory bordering China’s Xinxiang province, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Quoting unnamed PLA sources, the reports claimed that China planned to deploy several hundred soldiers to the base once construction is completed to assist the Afghan government’s counterterrorism efforts, but no time frame was outlined. Neither the Chinese nor Afghan government has formally confirmed the reports.

https://www.janes.com/article/82637/rep ... ess-likely

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 04 Sep 2018 14:34

^^well, my best wishes to the pork eating chinese on joining the afghan fray, after UK, Russia and US. We may lose some a bit, but a military loss/stalemate wont be it

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 05 Sep 2018 21:03

Pandering to Gulbuddin Hekmetyar and his Hizb- E- Islami Party Has Had No Positive Effect According To This State Dept Report !

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#State Dept: peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has had no definitive impact on reconciliation calculations of other resistance groups, including the Taliban https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyrepo ... pdf#page=7

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 05 Sep 2018 21:11

Russia Postpones Afghan Peace Meeting at Kabul's Request
Bloomberg News
Aug 27, 2018

Russia agreed to postpone a Moscow peace conference on Afghanistan amid opposition from the Kabul government, even as the Taliban had agreed to attend.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to delay the meeting initially fixed for Sept. 4 to an unknown future date, according to an emailed statement from Ghani’s press office and a Russian Foreign Ministry website statement.
“The main and essential principle is to hold peace talks under the ownership of Afghans,” Ghani told Lavrov. In response, Lavrov said Russia wants “Afghan-owned peace talks and is ready for any effective cooperation in that regard with the government of Afghanistan,” according to the statement from Kabul.Both sides said they’d decided to work together to jointly set a date and host the meeting. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had accepted Kabul’s request for more time to forge a “consolidated position by the Afghan side.”
Afghanistan said last week it would not attend the meeting because it would not provide the opportunity for direct negotiations between the government and the Taliban. The U.S. also declined to take part in the Russian-led discussions, to which Moscow invited a number of key powers.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said they would attend the meeting but would not hold face-to-face talks with Afghan government officials if they attended.
The U.S. delegation, led by the country’s top South Asia diplomat, Alice Wells, secretly met with Taliban leaders in Doha in July to talk about Afghan peace and trust-building measures. The Taliban had said they were ready to talk to the U.S. to end the war, but not with the Afghan government as they deem it illegitimate.

Taliban is "echoing" Paki line !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Lisa » 06 Sep 2018 14:02

nvishal wrote:
Reported Chinese military base in Afghanistan motivated by BRI expansion; China’s greater involvement in peace process likely
Chinese media, with a track record of reliable sources in the Chinese government, reported on 28 August that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had begun constructing a military base in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.

The base will be located along the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory bordering China’s Xinxiang province, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Quoting unnamed PLA sources, the reports claimed that China planned to deploy several hundred soldiers to the base once construction is completed to assist the Afghan government’s counterterrorism efforts, but no time frame was outlined. Neither the Chinese nor Afghan government has formally confirmed the reports.

https://www.janes.com/article/82637/rep ... ess-likely


Nvishalji,

The Chinese army has been patrolling INSIDE the Wakhan corridor for well over a year now. I posted links to images almost a year ago. I remain surprised that this matter has not been discussed more widely.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nithish » 06 Nov 2018 23:29

Taliban storms fourth Afghan base this month

The Taliban stormed yet another Afghan military base overnight, this time in the western province of Farah near the border with Iran. All but three of the border policemen manning the outpost were either killed or captured, according to reports.

Farah is the fourth military base to fall to the Taliban in just the first six days of November.

The base, manned by an estimated 50 Afghan border policemen, “was the most equipped border post in the province and was responsible for securing the highway and border areas,” according to ATN News.

Local officials from Farah province said that 20 policemen were killed and 30 more were captured, while only three managed to escape. The Taliban looted the base and seized a large quantity of war supplies.

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban confirmed its forces attacked the base and claimed that it killed 30 policemen and captured 20 more.

The Taliban has met little resistance when targeting significant military outposts. Yesterday, the Taliban destroyed a newly established joint Afghan police and military outpost in Ghazni province, and killed 13 security personnel in the attack. Over the weekend, the Taliban killed eight Afghan soldiers and captured 16 more in an assault in Uruzgan’s provincial capital, and killed three policemen and captured 17 more after it overran a public order police base in Faryab.

The Taliban has been relentless in attacking Afghan security personnel across the country; its attacks are not relegated to one area or region. These attacks are having a significant impact on the morale of Afghan security forces. According to the latest report by the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), “ANDSF [Afghan National Defense Security Forces] strength this quarter is the lowest it has been in the third quarter of the year since 2012.”

“The ANDSF strength decreased by 1,914 personnel since last quarter and by 8,827 personnel since the same period last year,” SIGAR noted.

The decrease in ANDSF force strength is attributed to several factors: casualties, failure to reenlist, and defections. However, most of the casualties that occurred between May 1 and Oct. 1, 2018 “came as a result of either checkpoint operations (52%) or patrolling (35%). Trends indicate that the number of checkpoint casualties is increasing while the number of patrol casualties is decreasing,” the military told SIGAR.”

This means that Afghan security forces are beginning to hunker down on their bases and reducing the number of offensive and presence operations that are designed to keep the Taliban reacting to the ANDSF.

The Taliban is responding by taking the fight to Afghan forces at bases and outposts, and is inflicting high casualties on the ANDSF. This is, in turn, leading to a decrease in the number of ANDSF personnel at a time when they are needed the most.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 09 Nov 2018 09:00

In a first, India to share platform with Taliban - ToI
While India will attend the meeting on Afghanistan hosted by Russia on Friday, the government has said that its participation will be restricted to "non-official level". The government recalled India's position that all peace efforts must be led, owned and also controlled by the Afghans.

India's presence in the Moscow meeting, even if at the non-official level, is likely to raise eyebrows as it will for the first time India will share a platform with the Taliban. India will be represented by retired diplomats TCA Raghavan and Amar Sinha.

Official sources said India's decision was well thought out and in line with the "comfort level" of the Afghanistan government. "We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on November 9 on Afghanistan," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. "India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country. India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan. Our participation will be at a non-official level," he added.

Sources said Amar Sinha, former secretary in MEA who also served as India's Ambassador to Afghanistan, and TCA Raghavan, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, will represent New Delhi at the Moscow talks.

According to Sputnik news agency, Russia sent invitations for what is called the "Moscow Format" talks to Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the US and the Afghan Taliban.

The first Moscow Format meeting saw India represented at the joint secretary level but there was no Taliban in the meeting.
"For the first time, a delegation of the Political Office of the Taliban Movement in Doha will participate in an international meeting of this level," said a press release issued by Moscow. While the Afghan government is not directly participating in the meeting, a delegation of the country's High Peace Council is expected to attend.Russian embassy said in a reaction that it welcomed India and other countries' participation and that it highly valued India's support to the peace process.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 09 Nov 2018 10:38

SS remember the six power conference in Germany in mid 1990s where US ensured India was not part of the Afghan talks?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Malayappan » 26 Dec 2018 21:15

Abandoning Afghanistan: Trump may have a point by Sushant Sareen
But is all fairness to Trump’s impatience with the quagmire in Afghanistan and his seemingly impulsive decisions, the war in Afghanistan wasn’t going to be won with more of the same, which is what the generals were recommending. Even the so called stalemate that the generals were promising was a bit of a chimera considering the expanding footprint of the Taliban. Trump has at least ended the inertia. Whether this leads to something better or ends up in worsening the situation – at least in the short run the latter is an imminent possibility – is something that remains to be seen.
The first (scenaio) is that the Afghan state collapses and powerful warlords beef up their forces to confront and resist the Taliban. In other words, yet another bloody civil war. The second is that the Taliban extend their sway over the entire country. This too will not be a peaceful end to the imbroglio because given the bloodlust of the Taliban, there will be reprisals and massacres galore......The third scenario, which looks a little bleak right now but cannot be ruled out entirely, is that the Afghan government along with the US rework their war strategy and tactics to push back the Taliban.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 03 Jan 2019 19:12

X Posted from the India-US thread.US President's rant regards our country's efforts in Afghanistan:

“I could give you an example where, I get along very well with India and prime minister Modi, but he’s constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan. Ok a library. That’s like, you know what that is? It’s like five hours of what we spend, and he tells it, and he’s very smart, and we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh thank you for the library’.

“I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan, but it’s one of those things.”


From the UK's Independent:

Trump mocks India’s prime minister Narendra Modi over library in Afghanistan: ‘I don’t know who’s using it’

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nam » 03 Jan 2019 19:33

He is crudely telling us, we are all talk. Which is what we are.

We as usual are the fence sitter and pass on news column how US leaving Afghanistan would cause us problems in Kashmir.

Instead of helping Afghan to take the fight to the Paks, we are just talk.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rishi_Tri » 03 Jan 2019 21:02

nam wrote:He is crudely telling us, we are all talk. Which is what we are.

We as usual are the fence sitter and pass on news column how US leaving Afghanistan would cause us problems in Kashmir.

Instead of helping Afghan to take the fight to the Paks, we are just talk.


I take strong exception to this post. Indians have worked and died in Afghanistan. If one were to do analysis, one would find that half of development projects being done in Afghanistan are by Indians or funded by India.

If there is one country that Afghans respect besides themselves, it is India. They literally sing paeans to India and hate Porkis. Wherever in the world you are, speak to an Afghan about India and hear what he says. When it comes to Afghanistan, military option is the worst. It is the place where the British eventually got defeated and militarily. US is merely reliving that experience.

And of course I don't have to tell this forum that my father was instrumental in getting Afghan Parliament Designed and Constructed.

I ask you to withdraw your comment.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nam » 04 Jan 2019 00:49

Rishi_Tri wrote:I take strong exception to this post. Indians have worked and died in Afghanistan. If one were to do analysis, one would find that half of development projects being done in Afghanistan are by Indians or funded by India.

If there is one country that Afghans respect besides themselves, it is India. They literally sing paeans to India and hate Porkis. Wherever in the world you are, speak to an Afghan about India and hear what he says. When it comes to Afghanistan, military option is the worst. It is the place where the British eventually got defeated and militarily. US is merely reliving that experience.

And of course I don't have to tell this forum that my father was instrumental in getting Afghan Parliament Designed and Constructed.

I ask you to withdraw your comment.


You are missing the point. I am not against what we have done in terms of development projects. My argument is what is the point of all this effort, when we are not ready to defend them against Pak sponsored terror?

What is stopping us from providing 500 million to ANA to maintain a brigade with 105MM & T72 transferred from IA and manned by Afghans? or even a squad of airborne assets like Rudra?

Instead we go around giving gyan on peace...

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby disha » 04 Jan 2019 01:39

Falijee wrote:Pandering to Gulbuddin Hekmetyar and his Hizb- E- Islami Party Has Had No Positive Effect According To This State Dept Report !

SIGAR
‏Verified account @SIGARHQ

#State Dept: peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has had no definitive impact on reconciliation calculations of other resistance groups, including the Taliban https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyrepo ... pdf#page=7


Did the US SD just had their Bulbuddin moment? :eek: :shock:

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Prem » 11 Jan 2019 00:41


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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Austin » 12 Jan 2019 19:48

India Plays "Indispensable Role" In Afghanistan: Russian Foreign Minister
NEW DELHI: Russia Wednesday said India's role in Afghanistan is "indispensable" and complimented it for carrying out various developmental initiatives.

The comments by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about India's engagement in the war-ravaged country came days after US President Donald Trump mocked New Delhi's role in Afghanistan.

The minister, currently visiting India, was also critical of the US and some other countries for their tendency to display "raw power" in some cases, without thinking of the consequences.

"In all countries, where we see domestic conflicts, the issue of development is the number one issue. Wars can be won, but peace cannot be ensured without any material investment into economic development, social stability," he said in response to a question on India's role in rebuilding of Afghanistan.

Indian efforts and that of other countries in the area of material support to Afghanistan is an "indispensable one," Sergei Ryabkov said at a press conference.

"Unfortunately, our colleagues in the US and some other countries are so much attached to, what we describe as ''raw power'', military power, and resort to military means, in some cases, without thinking sufficiently of consequences of it... it itself becomes a destabilising factor," he said.

India has been actively involved in reconstruction efforts in war-ravaged Afghanistan. It has committed about USD 3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

To a question on Afghan peace process and engaging the Taliban in talks, Sergei Ryabkov said, "We understand the essential role of India in regard to this country and all the efforts Russia takes towards promotion of reconciliation and peaceful resolution of the situation there in all formats including the Moscow process."

"We always welcome India and Indian representatives, besides we maintain a bilateral dialogue on Afghanistan," he said, adding, Russia is are very much "in sync with India" on this important issue.

He claimed that what was promoted by Russia, India and other countries was being "labelled differently" by some. There is a very "artificial competition", he added.

On another question on the resolution of the Taliban issue, the deputy minister said, it is for Afghanistan themselves to decide.

"When we did the Moscow process, it was difficult for the government in Kabul, but still they participated. I am not going to give any prediction or character on what will happen further, but it is undeniable that there is a need to have a dialogue with the Taliban, a need to understand better where they are.

"However, we do not accept any attempt to present the posture or Russian position as being one-sided or playing into the hands of any particular force or actor," he said.

Major powers like the US and Russia have been reaching out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.

In a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in "non-official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.

The conference organised by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries including the US, Pakistan and China.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Prem » 22 Jan 2019 03:22

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/w ... r-100.html
Taliban attack on Afghan security base kills over 100

Attackers rammed a captured military Humvee packed with explosives into a training center of the National Directorate for Security in Maidan Wardak province, west of the capital Kabul. At least two gunmen followed up, spraying the compound with gunfire before they were shot down.“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training center, eight special commandoes are among the dead,” said a senior official in the defense ministry in Kabul, speaking on condition of anonymity.Local officials also said that scores of troops and NDS personnel were killed in the attack but there was no official confirmation of the casualty toll, with officials ordered not to talk to media for fear of damaging morale.“I have been told not to make the death toll figures public. It is frustrating to hide the facts,” said a senior interior ministry official in Kabul.The attack, the most serious against Afghan forces in months, occurred on the same day that Taliban representatives met Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, in Qatar.Last week, Taliban fighters set off a car bomb outside a highly fortified compound killing at least five people and wounding more than 110 in the capital, Kabul but casualties from Monday’s attack appear to have been far higher.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 22 Jan 2019 14:43

'The bed that saved me from the Taliban'

Just over a year ago, Greek pilot Vasileios Vasileiou checked into a luxury hilltop hotel in Kabul. The Intercontinental was popular with foreign visitors - which is why, on 20 January, Taliban gunmen stormed it, killing at least 40 people. Vasileios explains how he survived.


Image

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jan 2019 07:38

US-Taliban talks put India in tight spot - Indrani Bagchi, ToI
With the US and Taliban making “significant” progress in their talks in Doha, India’s own position on the Taliban is coming under scrutiny.

According to reports that are mainly attributed to Taliban sources, the US-Taliban talks have moved forward after Taliban appointed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as the lead negotiator from their side.

Reports indicated that while nothing has been been agreed upon discussions with US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad have included talks on a ceasefire, a US withdrawal in 18 months and Taliban committing not to provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda and Daesh among other international terror groups.

Khalialzad himself ruled out any talk of an “interim” government, emphasising he was trying to facilitate an intra-Afghan dialogue. But, as he has himself tweeted, nothing is done until it is done.

India will be deeply affected by the outcome of these talks, yet it is not at the table, nor is it being heard.


Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s bald suggestion that India step on to the “bandwagon” by talking to the Taliban in Afghanistan because everyone else is doing it, has made the Indian establishment deeply uncomfortable.

India has been on the defensive regarding Afghanistan in the recent past — first, to counter US President’s Donald Trump’s comment that India was building “libraries” in Afghanistan and then Rawat’s unsolicited comment.

Pakistan’s official spokesperson trotted out the old line that India has “no role”in Afghanistan, echoed by a Nato official Alejandro Alvargonzález that New Delhi was just one among “hundreds” in Afghanistan, while Pakistan held all the cards.

The MEA spokesperson defended the Indian official position with the same mantra on “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace process. “Our position on Afghanistan has been very clear and very consistent. We have said in the past and we continue to do so that India supports the peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan ... that is inclusive," Raveesh Kumar said.

In his conversations with Indian leaders, Khalilzad stressed that the US would maintain its existing red lines for peace in Afghanistan. He added that there would be more pressure on Pakistan to “deliver”. The US would want the Taliban to distance itself from the Haqqani Network, which is directly under Pakistan’s control, a deadly terror group that has repeatedly attacked US and Indian interests in Afghanistan. But Sirajuddin Haqqani is now the vice-chief of the Taliban. So extricating the two will be tough.

India, in these years has built enormous goodwill in Afghanistan, despite not having “boots on the ground”. It has remained on the side of the Afghan government, built infrastructure and rebuilt relations with the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan.

Despite the clamour that India needs to “engage” the Taliban, the MEA plans to keep a steady stance. Whether India maintains a covert line to the Taliban, for the moment New Delhi will stand by Kabul, and will open communications with Taliban after Kabul does so. This group believe that India’s brand equity, built over the past 17 years, will be enough to secure Indian interests in Afghanistan.

The Army chief was reflecting the views of another group that believe that India should maintain some contact with the Taliban. “If Pakistan is successful in putting its own people in government in Kabul, India can expect to witness the destruction of all the assets it has built there, like the Bamiyan Buddhas,” said high level sources.

India has two primary objectives in Afghanistan— helping the nation stand on its own feet and thwarting Pakistan’s designs there. The first does not envisage seeing the Taliban in power in Kabul. The second is aimed at reducing Pakistan’s ability to run terror groups against India. The government at present believes that even without talking directly to the Taliban, it can continue to play an effective game.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jan 2019 07:47

US and Taliban agree in principle to peace framework, envoy says - NYT
American and Taliban officials have agreed in principle to the framework of a deal in which the insurgents would guarantee to prevent Afghan territory from being used by terrorists, and that could lead to a full pullout of US troops in return for larger concessions from the Taliban, the chief US negotiator said Monday.

Khalilzad said those concessions must include the Taliban’s agreeing to a cease-fire and to talk directly with the Afghan government
, issues that the insurgents have doggedly opposed in the past.

“We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement,” the American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview in Kabul. “The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”

He added: “We felt enough confidence that we said we need to get this fleshed out, and details need to be worked out.”

After nine years of halting efforts to reach a peace deal with the Taliban, the draft framework, though preliminary, is the biggest tangible step toward ending a two-decade war that has cost tens of thousands of lives and profoundly changed US foreign policy.

A senior American official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations, said the Taliban delegation had asked for time to confer with their leadership about the US requirement for the insurgents’ agreement to direct Afghan talks and a cease-fire. The official described all those issues as “interconnected” as part of a “package deal” that was likened to a Russian nesting doll. The official’s account was supported by details that have been leaked by some Taliban and Western officials in recent days.

A senior Taliban official confirmed the draft agreement on the issue of foreign troop withdrawal and that the Taliban pledge that Afghan soil would not be used against others. He said “working groups” would iron out details on the timeline of the withdrawal.

But in a sign that the conditions the Americans have tied the finalizing of the deal to may be difficult to reach, the Taliban official said he did not see the agreement as conditioned on a cease-fire or Taliban talking to the Afghan government. The official declined to say what the Taliban position on the latter two issues was.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby pralay » 30 Jan 2019 08:59

SSridhar wrote:US and Taliban agree in principle to peace framework, envoy says - NYT
“We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement,” the American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview in Kabul. “The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”

:rotfl: so basically the US is asking terrorists to not harbor the terrorists.

SSridhar
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Posts: 23281
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jan 2019 09:35

Trump is in a hurry to withdraw. It seems therefore that he is only too willing to be misled by 'assurances' from the Taliban.


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