Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as ISIS

Afghan Taliban, US suspend talks for two days

PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban and American officials on Thursday suspended the peace talks for two days and agreed to resume negotiations from Saturday after they failed to evolve consensus on two major issues – US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid and US Special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation confirmed suspension of talks for two days.
Taliban sources in Qatar, however, said the talks were suspended for two days after the US negotiation team allegedly deviated from the two main topics and started discussing other irrelevant issues and pressed to declare on ceasefire. They said there was a deadlock in talks and this was the reason the process was suspended for two days.
This issue is not that much simple to be resolved within two or three rounds of talks. We were told to discuss two major issues US withdrawal from Afghanistan and our commitment not to let our soil to be used against any country and particularly the US and its allies after we reached an agreement, said a senior member of the Afghan Taliban.However, he stated that the US delegation members deliberately’ deviated from the main agenda and started asking questions about the future government in Afghanistan, women rights and Taliban relations with the international community. Some of the Taliban representatives had adopted a very simple approach towards peace talks and wanted to find a negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict but unfortunately that does not seem to be easy, the Taliban leader argued.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said: Amid the ongoing talks between the negotiation teams of Islamic Emirate and United States in the Qatari capital of Doha, extensive discussions were held about the method of foreign troops’ withdrawal from Tuesday till Wednesday noon and from that time onwards, discussion revolved around preventing Afghanistan from being used against others.He said the meeting ended on Wednesday night, as both negotiation teams agreed to take a break today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) for consultations and preparation for the third meeting which shall be held on Saturday.
According to Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s head of the Political Commission, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar held a meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad, the top NATO commander General Scott Miller and senior Qatar government officials including deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdul Rahman al-Thani and National Security Advisor Mohammad al-Masnad.Taliban sources said Mulla Baradar informed them about Taliban’s priorities and explained to them that they would continue to demand the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces from Afghanistan.Taliban said they had already explained their position about militant groups in Afghanistan such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying no foreign militant group would be allowed to operate independently or use their soil against any other country.Zabihullah Mujahid said Mulla Baradar emphasized Taliban commitment to the current peace process and their struggle for peace and establishment of an Islamic system of government in Afghanistan.
Taliban sources said they had already maintained that al-Qaeda members who pleaded allegiance to their supreme leader Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada would not be asked to leave Afghanistan.They would need to live in Afghanistan and obey the Afghan constitution but would never run any militant group or use the Afghan soil against any other country.As for the ISIS or Daesh, we have nothing to do with it and would not allow it to create any law and order situation in the country if we came into power, said the Taliban leader.He said their talks with US had been practically suspended due to the deadlock and now the two sides would discuss the future line of action with their respective leadership.
Americans and particularly Zalmay Khalilzad during the talks demanded the Taliban to declare a ceasefire before the launch of Taliban’s proposed spring offensive, fearing that it would escalate fighting and attacks against foreign and Afghan forces. They repeatedly asked for ceasefire and our representatives constantly said No’ to them, said a Taliban leader privy to the peace talks in Doha.He said Taliban Rahbari Shura, the top decision-making Leadership Council, is expected to be approached and informed about the present deadlock in peace talks.We had agreed with Americans that irrelevant issues would be discussed later once we develop consensus on US withdrawal and our commitment to keep Afghanistan a peaceful country not posing threat to any country.But they started debating other issues that created a deadlock in talks, said the Taliban leader.Taliban and US representatives resumed the peace negotiations in Doha on February 25.
They were supposed to discuss the draft framework for US forces’ withdrawal and Taliban pledge to prevent Afghan soil from being used against other countries.The path to peace doesn’t often run in a straight line.
The situation in Afghanistan is complex and like all sensitive talks, not everything is conducted in public. We made significant progress on two vital issues: counter terrorism and troop withdrawal.That doesn’t mean we’re done. We’re not even finished with these issues yet, and there is still work to be done on other vital issues like intra-Afghan dialogue and a complete ceasefire, he explained.He added that skeptics have rushed to judgment based on just the first part of a much larger effort as though they have a completed agreement.But you can’t eat an elephant in one bite! And a forty year old war won’t be resolved in one meeting, even if that meeting runs for close to a week, said Khalilzad, a seasoned diplomat.He said it was a moment for the Afghans to begin to heal old wounds and chart a new course for their country.PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban and American officials on Thursday suspended the peace talks for two days and agreed to resume negotiations from Saturday after they failed to evolve consensus on two major issues – US withdrawal from Afghanistan and Taliban’s pledge of preventing their soil from being used by the militant groups in future against the United States and its allies.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid and US Special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation confirmed suspension of talks for two days. Taliban sources in Qatar, however, said the talks were suspended for two days after the US negotiation team allegedly deviated from the two main topics and started discussing other “irrelevant” issues and pressed to declare on ceasefire.They said there was a deadlock in talks and this was the reason the process was suspended for two days.“This issue is not that much simple to be resolved within two or three rounds of talks.We were told to discuss two major issues – US withdrawal from Afghanistan and our commitment not to let our soil to be used against any country and particularly the US and its allies after we reached an agreement,” said a senior member of the Afghan Taliban.However, he stated that the US delegation members ‘deliberately’ deviated from the main agenda and started asking questions about the future government in Afghanistan, women rights and Taliban relations with the international community.
“Some of the Taliban representatives had adopted a very simple approach towards peace talks and wanted to find a negotiated settlement of the Afghan conflict but unfortunately that does not seem to be easy,” the Taliban leader argued.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said: “Amid the ongoing talks between the negotiation teams of Islamic Emirate and United States in the Qatari capital of Doha, extensive discussions were held about the method of foreign troops’ withdrawal from Tuesday till Wednesday noon and from that time onwards, discussion revolved around preventing Afghanistan from being used against others.”He said the meeting ended on Wednesday night, “as both negotiation teams agreed to take a break today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) for consultations and preparation for the third meeting which shall be held on Saturday.”According to Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s head of the Political Commission, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar held a meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad, the top NATO commander General Scott Miller and senior Qatar government officials including deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdul Rahman al-Thani and National Security Advisor Mohammad al-Masnad.
Taliban sources said Mulla Baradar informed them about Taliban’s priorities and explained to them that they would continue to demand the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces from Afghanistan.Taliban said they had already explained their position about militant groups in Afghanistan such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying no foreign militant group would be allowed to operate independently or use their soil against any other country.
Zabihullah Mujahid said Mulla Baradar emphasized Taliban commitment to the current peace process and their struggle for peace and establishment of an Islamic system of government in Afghanistan.Taliban sources said they had already maintained that al-Qaeda members who pleaded allegiance to their supreme leader Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada would not be asked to leave Afghanistan.
“They would need to live in Afghanistan and obey the Afghan constitution but would never run any militant group or use the Afghan soil against any other country. As for the ISIS or Daesh, we have nothing to do with it and would not allow it to create any law and order situation in the country if we came into power,” said the Taliban leader.He said their talks with US had been practically suspended due to the deadlock and now the two sides would discuss the future line of action with their respective leadership.“Americans and particularly Zalmay Khalilzad during the talks demanded the Taliban to declare a ceasefire before the launch of Taliban’s proposed spring offensive, fearing that it would escalate fighting and attacks against foreign and Afghan forces.
They repeatedly asked for ceasefire and our representatives constantly said ‘No’ to them,” said a Taliban leader privy to the peace talks in Doha.He said Taliban Rahbari Shura, the top decision-making Leadership Council, is expected to be approached and informed about the present deadlock in peace talks.
“We had agreed with Americans that irrelevant issues would be discussed later once we develop consensus on US withdrawal and our commitment to keep Afghanistan a peaceful country not posing threat to any country. But they started debating other issues that created a deadlock in talks,” said the Taliban leader.
Taliban and US representatives resumed the peace negotiations in Doha on February 25. They were supposed to discuss the draft framework for US forces’ withdrawal and Taliban pledge to prevent Afghan soil from being used against other countries.
“The path to peace doesn’t often run in a straight line. The situation in Afghanistan is complex and like all sensitive talks, not everything is conducted in public.
We made significant progress on two vital issues: counter terrorism and troop withdrawal. That doesn’t mean we’re done.
We’re not even finished with these issues yet, and there is still work to be done on other vital issues like intra-Afghan dialogue and a complete ceasefire,” he explained.He added that skeptics have rushed to judgment based on just the first part of a much larger effort as though they have a completed agreement.
“But you can’t eat an elephant in one bite! And a forty year old war won’t be resolved in one meeting, even if that meeting runs for close to a week,” said Khalilzad, a seasoned diplomat.He said it was a moment for the Afghans to begin to heal old wounds and chart a new course for their country.

Please follow and like us:

Fighting in the Trenches of This Culture War

Fighting in the Trenches of This Culture War, Our authors generally oppose cultural and moral relativism, and for that reason they are generally February 21, 2019 Howard Rotberg For over 15 years, I have been operating a small publishing house, which is Canada’s sole conservative and pro-Israel publishing house.
We publish some of the greatest Canadian, American and international authors who support fundamental freedoms, liberty, justice and individual rights as opposed to group rights. Our authors generally oppose cultural and moral relativism, and for that reason they are generally shunned by leftist publishing houses who naively believe that all cultures are equal.
I am the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost his parents and then eight-year-old sister in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When someone tells me that all cultures are equal, I ask if the person believes that the culture of Nazi Germany or of ISIS is equal to the culture of Canada or the United States.The person usually walks away at that point. Recently, as part of my publishing duties and the need to see if there are any upcoming opportunities for our authors to speak, I came across an event near Toronto called the Festival of Literary Diversity.Looking at the photographs of the 20 or so authors speaking or appearing, I could see that almost all were brown or black and they were mostly women. Mantua Books also publishes brown women (Farzana Hassan, The Case Against Jihad), brown men (Professor Salim Mansur, Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism and Islamism and the Qur’an Problem), as well as white Jewish women, aged Christian men, gay Jewish men, all what we might term “conservative” thinkers, but who are actually “classically liberal” as much as conservative.
So, I decided to write to the Festival organizers to see if their definition of “marginalized diverse authors” could include our authors, most with Ph.Ds, who are shunned by mainstream leftist publishing houses despite their qualifications to write in their chosen fields on politics and culture.It occurred to me that readers might like to peer into the trench, where I, a 6 7-year-old, former practicing lawyer, a developer of affordable rental housing for low income working people (which I insist gives me “progressive” credibility) am fighting in this war every week. Of course, we are losing most every battle we fight.It is hard when academia, the mainstream media, and NGOs and government bureaucrats are all lined up against you. But I fight on; if my father could survive Auschwitz, I figure I can survive this.So what follows is my correspondence with a Festival organizer, to give you some insight into one small, polite skirmish in a much larger War. From Howard Rotberg to A.L.: Re: Festival of Literary Diversity, in Brampton We are a small publisher, based in Brantford/Hamilton, in business for over 15 years, publishing great authors, most with Ph.Ds, most of whom have been shunned by mainstream, leftist-oriented publishing houses, because of the authors conservative (or classically liberal) political beliefs. We have white and brown authors, Christian, Muslim and Jewish authors, who write about ideologies and values in contemporary political culture.Our authors are experts in their field, and are professors, journalists and others living in Canada or around the world. Please refer to our website, www.mantuabooks.com.Our writers are usually opposed to cultural and moral relativism and political correctness that inhibits freedom of expression or that caters to group rights as opposed to individual human rights and maintenance of our liberal democratic justice system. We are opposed to naïve advocacy of multiculturalism based on the mistaken belief that all cultures are equal.
We believe that cultures that oppress women, gays/lesbians, children, ethnic and religious minorities are not equal to those that uphold the rights of same. Despite the quality of our writers, we are routinely marginalized by mainstream media who often refuse to review our authors’ works because, notwithstanding our great conservative tradition in Canada, these media feel that they want to publish or write about left-leaning authors not conservative ones, and so we are shunned and marginalized.We think that a Festival of Literary Diversity should embrace a diversity of all books as long as they meet the requisite standards of intellectual discussion and our Canadian traditional values of liberty, justice and “peace, order and good government. Let us know if you want the publisher or some of the authors to participate in a festival of diversity that is in fact diverse,From A.L.to Howard Rotberg: Thank you for this. I appreciate and understand where you are coming from.We also do not support the views of people and movements who disenfranchise marginalized groups, but we cannot approach this from a perspective of viewing other cultures as inferior to Western democracies, regardless of whether we agree with their practices or not. As such, we celebrate the rights, complexities and humanity inherent in all cultures, understand that growth comes from meeting one another on common ground, and seek to elevate discussions where cross-cultural dialogues are respectful, mindful, and encourage us all to learn.
Many thanks, and all the best to you in your continued work. From Howard Rotberg to A.L.: Thank you for your polite and considered response.
I simply want to point out to you that I work with marginalized authors who are marginalized by leftist media. Words like “diverse” or “marginalized” are highly politicized terms useful for attaining power or reducing power of those with whom one disagrees with politically.The fact that you cannot bring yourself to state the obvious – that some cultures like that of Nazi Germany or of ISIS – are culturally inferior, tells me, the son of a Holocaust survivor, that the effect of your sincere efforts is to dignify cultures that abuse women and gays and religious minorities; surely you would be hard-pressed to make the argument, say, to Yezedi women, victims of the evil culture of Syria which includes a culture of rape. I disagree that there is “humanity” in all cultures.Nazi Germany and ISIS are the opposites of humanity. Finally, it sounds nice to say that we should be “respectful” in all discussions.But, in my book, The Ideological Path to Submission and what we can do about it, I point out that “the Oxford Dictionary defines “respect” as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” But to me, Islamists who use beheading, rape and sexual assault, torture, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and gays, and disregard most human rights, do not deserve our “deep admiration” and do not show any great “qualities or achievements.” We must be clear on this. “I am really confused about the notion of ‘meeting on common ground.’ If there were such a viable concept/place as ‘common ground,’ then can it be defined? If not, then where in the rich spectrum of values and ideas is there a common platform for our minds to meet? Why should there be a common ‘safe place’ when people disagree about significant basic ideas which are diametrically opposed to western values which have made modern western civilization the best place on earth to be living?” I would recommend that you read Professor Salim Mansur’s Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism, Diane Weber Bederman’s Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, and my own, The Ideological Path to Submission. and what we can do about it.About Howard Rotberg Howard Rotberg is a Canadian writer, businessman and publisher. He is the author of The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author, TOLERism: The Ideology Revealed, and Exploring Vancouverism: The Political Culture of Canada’s Lotus Land.He is President of Mantua Books.Read MoreView the discussion thread.

Please follow and like us:

US, Russia and Blackwater mercenaries plot different futures for Afghanistan

It would be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future, writes Saeed Naqvi. Two parallel peace processes on Afghanistan are underway.
In Doha, Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan has held extensive round of talks with Taleban leaders, spread over several days last month.
The authorship of this process is, quite jealously, America’s. But on February 5 and 6, Taliban and other Afghan political groups also met in Moscow.
A roadmap for the future, titled the Moscow Declaration was announced. Among its nine points is one which also suggests coordination with the Doha process – there is no jealous guarding of ownership of the peace process here.
Anyone interested in peace is the joint author. The declaration was immediately rubbished by the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
“Moscow declaration will not have impact on the peace process in Afghanistan” said palace spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri.I have Russian estimates of five years ago.
They may have changed, but in those days the Russians were convinced of 30 US bases in Afghanistan.Of these, the ones at Bagram, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Helmand, Shindand (Herat) and Mazar-e-Sharif were, by the sheer volume of masonry and architecture, not temporary.
These bases will remain. Are we then talking about a qualified departure?If the US is actually planning departure, why would it build a consulate in the heart of Mazar-e-Sharif on a scale which would dwarf large embassies? Renaissance is the only reasonable hotel in Mazar-e-Sharif.
It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future.
“All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.
”After Obama announced on December 1, 2009 the US intention to leave Afghanistan in July 2011, I had argued in a paper for the Observer Research Foundation that Americans can simply not leave Afghanistan. I have been proven right so far.
And now once again the “We are leaving” story has been let loose. True, this time the circumstances are different, but let us take a look.
Last July, Zalmay Khalilzad and Morgulov Igor Vladimirovich, Russia’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, (who was behind the scenes in the intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow on February 5 and 6) attend a high power meet in New Delhi on regional issues.In a more cooperative world order, one would have expected the representatives of the US and Russia to exchange notes on Afghanistan.
What transpired was to the contrary. Vladimirovich made an allegation that startled the gathering.
“ISIS fighters were being flown to Northern Afghanistan from Syria” was the claim. The Afghan air space is under the control of the US and the government in Kabul.
“So, who is responsible?” Khalilzad offered a tepid denial. The denial lacked credibility because the Russian allegation had been preceded by another made by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatullah Khomenei.
In the course of his Friday address on January 30, 2018. Khomenei said, “The US transfer of IS terrorists to Afghanistan is aimed at creating a justification for its continued presence in the region.
”In countries surrounding Afghanistan, doubts about American intentions may be more muted but are just as strong. It is deeply ironical that Jihadism, terrorism and Islamism manufactured in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 80s, may be returning to complete the circle.
Indeed, there is a certain inevitability about Islamic militancy becoming a tool of American foreign policy. The triangular romance between Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh will ensure this state of affairs for as long as this romance lasts.
Let me explain the inevitability. When animal rights groups forced the famous annual fox hunt to stop in South India’s most Anglaise hill station Ooty, I expressed my curiosity to the master of the hunt: “What have you done to the hundreds of hounds of high pedigree trained diligently for the hunt?” The lovely canines had been transferred to an expensive kennel from where dog lovers could acquire them.
So now we know what to do with redundant foxhounds of high pedigree? What does a state like Saudi Arabia do with spare Islamic militants who have been heavily equipped and trained to kill at the cost of billions? They can only be relocated to newer theatres of conflict like Afghanistan. From here they can plague all the countries the US wishes to destabilize – Xinxiang in China, the Caucasus in Russia, Iran and Pakistan, too, if it does not behave according to the US diktat.
To make the confusion worse, Erik Prince, founder of the world’s biggest mercenary military company, which has mutated from Blackwater to Academi and Triple Canopy, is back in Afghanistan floating the idea of US troops to be replaced by Prince’s mercenary army. His plan that Afghanistan be administered by a “viceroy” was shot down by National Security Adviser H.
R. McMaster and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
After the two were shown the door, Prince has been all over Afghanistan again in and Khalilzad’s notice. The only person who has refused to meet him in Kabul is President Ghani.
The writer is a journalist based in IndiaTags:Analysis Saeed Naqvi Related PostsMemoryMagic Latch February 15, 2019News AnalysisA Gnarled Oak with a Broken Heart February 15, 2019Next Post Can everyone have health insurance in Pakistan? Leave a Reply Cancel replyThis site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please follow and like us: