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July 6, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8831

Pakistani Daily Close To The Afghan Taliban Alleges: It's Agreed That If The Taliban 'Lay Siege To Kabul,' U.S. Will Not Oppose It And Will Call It An 'Internal Affair'

July 6, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8831

Pakistan's leading Islamist Urdu daily Roznama Ummat, which is considered close to the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), alleged in a report that the U.S., siding with the Taliban against the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, has concluded a secret deal with the jihadi group.[1] However, there is no independent proof that a secret deal has indeed been reached between the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization).

The U.S. and the Islamic Emirate signed an agreement on the future of Afghanistan on February 29, 2020 (ignoring the existence of the democratically elected government in Kabul), which paves the way for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The agreement, signed in Doha, was reached after 18 months of negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban.

After that, the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate continued their talks, again ignoring the democratically elected Afghan government, to ensure that the Doha agreement is implemented and the intra-Afghan talks begin on the future of Afghanistan, possibly facilitating the Taliban to share power in the Afghan government and shape the country's governance, politics, and military along shari'a lines, as demanded by the jihadi group.

A number of these meetings between U.S. officials and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, the head of the Islamic Emirate's Political Office in Doha, took place in the Qatari capital in the last days of June and the first week of July 2020.[2] On July 3, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the talks with a team of U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Adam Boehler (Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Financial Corporation), noting that they discussed, among other topics, "economic strategy and plans for numerous regional countries aimed at the financial growth, reconstruction, and development of future Afghanistan."[3]

These talks are on the reconstruction of Afghanistan, again ignoring the existence of the democratically elected government in Kabul, as if the Taliban are the party with whom to discuss the future of Afghanistan.

"[The U.S.] Is Ready To Give The Taliban Every Facility, Every Type Of Aid And Reparations"

Roznama Ummat, in its July 1, 2020 report alleging a secret deal between the Taliban and the U.S., stated: "If the talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Kabul government become unsuccessful and the Afghan Taliban will want to lay siege to Kabul by force, then America will not oppose it and will describe it as an internal affair [of Afghanistan]. In exchange for it, America wants its presence in Afghanistan."

"Not only America and China have established their interests with the Taliban, which being the strong player in the region, rather secretly America has agreed to deliver lots, but is shying away from announcing openly," the pro-Taliban daily noted in its report. The intra-Afghan talks between the Islamic Emirate and an Afghan delegation, to be held in the Qatari capital of Doha, are expected to discuss the future of Afghanistan.

The pro-Taliban daily based its report on unidentified "internal sources in the Afghan Taliban." It added: "The United States, instead of withdrawing [completely] from Afghanistan, wants to reach a compromise with the Afghan Taliban for the protection of its interests. And for this... it is ready to give the Taliban every facility, every type of aid and reparations."

"If America Wants Betterment In Further Relations, Then Guantanamo Bay [Detention Center] Will Have To Be Shut Down"

The Roznama Ummat stated: "During the meetings between the Afghan Taliban and American officials held yesterday [June 30, 2020], Mullah Baradar demanded from the American Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] to release Pakistanis, Afghans, Arabs and Haji Basheer who are imprisoned in Cuba [i.e., the Guantanamo Bay detention center]."[4]

The U.S. captured these individuals during in the years following 9/11. In 2019, there were incorrect media reports that Haji Basheer aka Haji Bashir Noorzai had been freed from the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

"Mullah Baradar told Mike Pompeo: If America wants betterment in further relations, then Guantanamo Bay [detention center] will have to be shut down and all inmates imprisoned there, including Pakistanis and Arabs, will have to be freed to improve trust. The Afghan Taliban will guarantee that the [freed] Arabs will not carry out [terror] attacks against America," the daily said.

The Urdu daily also quoted an unidentified "Taliban leader" as saying: "The families of some individuals imprisoned in Cuba [Guantanamo Bay] have contacted the Taliban and have appealed to them for help in this regard. Therefore, there is strong likelihood that America will hand over the individuals to the Taliban."

The pro-Taliban daily added: "If the Taliban succeed in getting the Arabs, Pakistanis and Afghans imprisoned in Cuba to be free, then the Taliban will emerge in the region [around Afghanistan] as a new power and the Taliban's role in future will become decisive."

 

[1] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), July 1, 2020.

[2] Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund is also the deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate for political affairs.

[3] AlemarahEnglish.com (Afghanistan), July 3, 2020.

[4] Mullah Baradar is a shortened name for Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, who led the 18 months of talks with Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy, in Doha.

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