April 1, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2290

From the MEMRI Urdu-Pashtu Blog: Reactions in the Afghanistan and Pakistan Press to President Obama's Statements on Reaching Out to Moderates in Taliban

April 1, 2009
Pakistan, Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 2290

Following are excerpts of some reactions to President Obama's March 8, 2009 statements, by Afghan government officials, Taliban leaders, and others. The reports, from Afghanistan and Pakistani daily newspapers and websites over the past two weeks, are posted on the MEMRI Urdu-Pashtu Blog.

Also included are one-time-only releases from the subscription-only MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Monitor (JTTM). TO SUBSCRIBE TO MEMRI's JTTM, CLICK HERE.

Visit the MEMRI Urdu-Pashtu Blog for breaking news you will find nowhere else, at .

Taliban: Contrary To What Obama Says, There Are No Moderates or Extremists Among Us

In a communiqué posted March 16, 2009, the Taliban responded to U.S. President Barack Obama's call for negotiations with what he called "moderate Taliban."

The Taliban's communiqué, posted by Islamist forums, denied that there were "moderates" or "extremists" in their midst, stating...

To read the full report, visit

Former Taliban Ambassador/Guantanamo Prisoner: Obama’s Proposal For Talks With Moderate Taliban - Attempt To Create Rifts; If The U.S. Really Wants To Resolve The Issue Of Afghanistan, It Should Close Down Guantanamo Bay And Bagram Prisons

According to a March 10 report in a Pashtu-language newspaper in Pakistan, Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef, the former ambassador of the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to Pakistan, who is also a released Guantanamo detainee, has termed U.S. President Barack Obama’s offer of talks with moderate Taliban militants as an attempt to create rifts among the Taliban ranks.

According to the newspaper, Zaeef added: "Dividing the Taliban by Obama is very dangerous and it is a bid to create rifts among the Taliban. All the Taliban are Muslims and moderates."

The former Taliban ambassador, who spent several years in the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay... stressed the need for creating an atmosphere of trust between the Taliban and the U.S., adding that if the U.S. really wants to resolve the issue of Afghanistan, it should close down Guantanamo Bay and Bagram prisons, release the prisoners, avoid deployment of more troops to Afghanistan, and stop air strikes and uncoordinated operations...

To read the full report, visit

Taliban Spokesman: Obama’s Proposal for Peace Talks - Completely Irrational

According to a report on a Dari-language website in Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman has described U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal for peace talks with moderate Taliban as irrational.

According to the report, dated March 10, a spokesman for Taliban leader Mullah Omar added that he will never accept this proposal, as it is completely irrational.

"The only one way to end the war in Afghanistan is to withdraw the foreign forces from Afghanistan," he said...

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Taliban: We Are United Under Mullah Omar’s Leadership; No Talks With Barack Obama

The Taliban fighters of the Mullah Dadullah Front in Afghanistan have rejected the offer of talks from U.S. President Barack Obama to moderate Taliban and have said they are not ready to hold negotiations with Obama, according to a March 9 report in a Pashtu-language newspaper in Pakistan.

The report quoted a spokesman of Mulla Dadullah Front, Rahbarmal, as saying that the Taliban will continue jihad under the leadership of Mullah Omar...

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Taliban: We Are Not Divided Into Moderates and Fundamentalists

Reacting to the U.S. President Barack Obama’s assertion that they were finding ways to hold talks with moderate militants, the Taliban militants in Afghanistan have said they are not divided into moderate and fundamentalists groups, according a March 9 report in a Pashtu language newspaper in Pakistan.

"There are no moderate or fundamentalist groups among the Taliban. We are all moderates and the followers of Islam," the report quoted Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi as saying.

He added that the Taliban will never agree to hold negotiations with U.S...

To read the full report, visit

Taliban Spokesman: Taliban Don't Have Hardliners and Moderates; Hamid Karzai Says One Thing, Obama Says Something Else - And NATO Forces Are Opposite of Both

According to a March 10 report in a Pashtu-language newspaper in Afghanistan, the Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan has declared that the Taliban do not have hardliners and moderates in their party, and that they will not talk to the Afghan government and the U.S. unless the foreign troops leave Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban in Afghanistan, added that all Taliban fighters are united under Mullah Omar’s leadership. "We have one command and are gathered on one focal point [of removing foreign troops]," he added

Reacting to U.S. President Barack Obama’s offer of talks with moderate Taliban in Afghanistan, Mujahid said that the Taliban do not have hardliners and moderates...

To read the full report, visit

Report on Reactions in Afghanistan on Obama's Proposal for Peace Talks with Moderate Taliban

According to a report dated March 10 in an Afghanistan Pashtu-language newspaper, U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent proposal of peace talks with the moderate Taliban in Afghanistan has caused many reactions both nationally and internationally.

Many people believe that talks with the Taliban militants is the only one way to solve the current problem in Afghanistan, but Taliban are very strong nowadays and they may not accept the terms of talks offered to them, the report added.

Political experts, however, believe that the U.S. first wants to attack the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, and start negotiations after weakening them, the report noted...

To read the full report, visit

Afghan Government's Negotiations with Taliban May Succeed; Both Sides Set Terms for Peace; Preliminary Negotiations Strengthened By Obama’s Offer of Talks With Moderate Taliban

The Afghan government’s negotiations with Taliban militants are continuing and may reach a conclusion somehow, according to a March 12 report in a Dari-language newspaper in Afghanistan.

Afghan government officials and some foreign countries say that preliminary negotiations, which began some time ago, have been strengthened by U.S. President Barack Obama’s offer of talks with moderate Taliban.

If the U.S. and Afghan officials had started such efforts before, the peace process might have become more successful by now, according to the report...

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Hizb-e-Islami Website: Obama's Offer to Talk to Moderate Taliban Result Of U.S. Defeat On Military Front In Afghanistan

The website of the Hizb-e-Islami in Afghanistan has called U.S. President Barack Obama’s offer of talks with moderate Taliban the result of the American defeat on military front in Afghanistan.

Hizb-e-Islami is led by Commander Gulbadin Hekmatyar.

According to the March 11 report, political analysts in Afghanistan believe that the U.S. and its allies cannot defeat the Taliban.

This is the reason the U.S. has been now forced to enter negotiations with the so-called moderate Taliban, the report said, noting that the analysts believe that Barack Obama wants to hide the U.S. defeat in the mask of negotiations...

To read the full report, visit

Afghanistan Welcomes U.S. Decision to Hold Talks With Moderate Taliban

According to a March 8 report in an Afghanistan Pashtu-language website, the Afghan government has welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision for reconciliation process with moderate Taliban in Afghanistan.

President Obama recently said that the U.S. is considering reconciliation with the moderate Taliban fighters.

In a statement, the government added that reconciliation was effective in Iraq, so the Afghan government believes that this will bring peace and stability to this country as well...

To read the full report, visit

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