e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 08/27/2016
 Taliban Commander Says Taliban Cannot Win Afghan War: Report

ABC News
By Muhammad Lila

[Printer Friendly Version]

ISLAMABAD - The Taliban leadership knows it cannot win the war in Afghanistan and is prepared to accept peace with the Afghan government, but only if the militant group plays a prominent role in the country's future, according to an interview with an alleged senior Taliban commander conducted by a former high-ranking diplomat.

The full interview, to be published in Thursday's edition of the British current affairs magazine New Statesmen, was conducted by Michael Semple, the former UN envoy to Afghanistan during Taliban rule and current fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard. Semple is considered an authority in Pashtun politics and reportedly still has contacts within the Taliban's senior ranks.

The Taliban commander, whose name is not revealed during the interview, is said to be a senior leader who spent time at Guantanamo Bay and is described in a preview of the article as "one of the most senior surviving Taliban commanders and confidant of the movement's leadership."

In the preview published on the New Statesmen's website, the Taliban commander says it would take "some kind of divine intervention for the Taliban to win this war" and calls al Qaeda a "plague" on Afghanistan.

Other revelations from the interview, according to the Taliban commander:

Taliban's Icy Relationship With al Qaeda "Our people consider al Qaeda to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens. Some even concluded that al Qaeda are actually the spies of America. Originally, the Taliban were naive and ignorant of politics and welcomed al Qaeda into their homes. But al-Qaeda abused our hospitality."

Relief at Bin Laden's Death "To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country."

Taliban Control of Kabul Won't Come Anytime Soon "The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth -- that they cannot prevail over the power they confront."

Controversial Taliban Policies Evolving? Maybe Later "In their time, the Taliban gained notoriety over three points: their treatment of women, their harsh enforcement of petty rules on things like beards and prayers, and their international relations. The priority now should be restoration of security. But on the other issues I anticipate that they would soften their tough policies."

Pakistan Remains a Taboo Subject "The one thing I dare not talk about is the relationship with Pakistan."

Reports of the interview come days after a videotape surfaced showing a purported Taliban execution in a village just an hour's drive from Kabul. On the video, a young woman squats on a patch of ground before a militant approaches her, firing several shots at point blank range, while a crowd of a hundred or so alleged militants cheers "Long Live the Mujahideen" in the background. The Taliban often refer to themselves as Mujahideen, or freedom fighters, trying to expel foreign invaders from the country.

The video met with international condemnation. U.S. officials denounced the crime as a cold-blooded murder, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his security forces to apprehend those behind it.

On Wednesday in Kabul, dozens of protesters, mostly women, took to the streets to demand justice. Many held placards calling on the international community to do more to safeguard women's rights in the country, while others chanting "death to the perpetrators."

"Every day these violences and these killings are getting more and more" said Zujra Alamyar, a women's rights activist. "We want the government to take serious action and stop them."

Back to Top

Other Stories:

Has Afghan election fraud controversy been defused?
The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2014)

Moscow’s Afghan Endgame
The Diplomat (06/25/2014)

Apologize to people, MPs asks Abdullah
Pajhwok (06/25/2014)

The Men Who Run Afghanistan
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

After Karzai
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

IEC secretary announces resignation
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

IECC spurns Abdullah’s claim; hails UN intervention
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

Afghan election crisis: 'stuffed sheep' recordings suggest large-scale fraud
The Guardian (06/23/2014)

Foreign spies trading on poll crisis: People
Pajhwok (06/22/2014)

Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats
Khaama Press (06/22/2014)

Afghan Leader Backs U.N. Election Role
The New York Times (06/21/2014)

Tensions mount over Afghan vote, protest held in Kabul
Reuters (06/21/2014)

Hundreds protest alleged Afghan election fraud
The Associated Press (06/21/2014)

Afghan Presidential Election Takes Dangerous Turn
The Huffington Post (06/21/2014)

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

PJ (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)

Back to Top