October 20, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8977

Urdu Daily: It's Agreed With U.S. That If Intra-Afghan Talks Fail, 'Kandahar, Bagram, And Jalalabad Airbases Will Be Handed Over To The Taliban' – Not To Afghan Army

October 20, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8977

According to recent Pakistani media reports, it seems some kind of a secret deal or understanding allegedly exists between the United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization) as per which the U.S. will let the Afghan Taliban capture power in Kabul if an agreement is not reached on the future of peace in Afghanistan.

The current intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Islamic Emirate and the Afghan delegation (including government officials) are in a deadlock after the jihadi organization set a non-negotiable demand for "a pure Islamic government" in the country.[1] Although the intra-talks are supposed to involve only Afghan factions, the United States, along with Qatar and Pakistan, is deeply involved in the entire process.[2]

The intra-Afghan talks resulted from the U.S.-Taliban agreement signed in Doha on February 29, 2020, to which the Afghan government was not a party. In July 2020, the pro-Taliban Urdu daily Roznama Ummat alleged in a report that if the intra-Afghan talks did not succeed, there was an agreement with the U.S. that if the Taliban "lay siege to Kabul," the U.S. administration would not oppose it and call it an "internal affair" of Afghanistan.[3]

Now, another report in Roznama Ummat, which is considered close to the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), notes that there is a "Plan B" that will kick in if the intra-Afghan talks fail, under which the U.S. will hand over major military bases to the Taliban. The insinuation is that the same will not be given to the elected democratic government of Afghanistan headed by President Ashraf Ghani and the Afghan army.

The following is the text of the report published by Roznama Ummat:[4]

"In The Event Of The Failure Of The [Intra-Afghan] Talks... The American Government's Current Administration Has Assured The Afghan Taliban Of [Handing Over] The Reins Of Power Of Afghanistan To The Taliban"

"A Plan B has also emerged following the Qatar negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and America; and in the event of the failure of the [intra-Afghan] talks with the Afghan government the American government's current administration has assured the Afghan Taliban of [handing over] the reins of power of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

"An important leader of the Afghan Taliban, attesting this point [in an interview to Roznama] Ummat, has said that if the talks with the Afghan government fail, then America will hand over big [military] bases to the Taliban, and the occupation of Kabul by the Afghan Taliban will also not be opposed. Whereas, Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman of the Afghan Taliban, says that they are not demanding alms, and this is the fruit of the thousands of people [that the Taliban rule over Kabul].

"[Roznama] Ummat has learnt from trustworthy sources that during the negotiations [i.e., at the signing of the deal] on February 29, 2020 between the Afghan Taliban and America, it was asked that, if the [intra-Afghan] talks fail between the Afghan Taliban and the government, what will be the Plan B? Under this [Plan B], America assured the Taliban after the signing of the Qatar agreement that if the intra-Afghan talks fail, then America – if it cannot provide aid to the Afghan Taliban during the occupation of Afghanistan – will also not oppose the Afghan Taliban."

"It's Agreed Between America And The Taliban That If The Talks Between The Afghan Taliban And The Government Are Conducted [Without Success], Then The Kandahar, Bagram, And Jalalabad Airbases Will Be Handed Over To The Taliban"

"It's agreed between America and the Taliban that if the talks between the Afghan Taliban and the government are conducted [without success], then the Kandahar, Bagram, and Jalalabad airbases will be handed over to the Taliban and the Afghan Taliban will take over power, and America will not resist. In exchange for it, the responsibility for the complete security of American installations will be on the Taliban; and in future America and the Taliban will cooperate with each other on different matters which include monitoring China and Central Asia, but the Afghan soil will not be used against China and Central Asia.

"An important leader of the Afghan Taliban has certified this point, and Zabihullah Mujahid has said they are not asking for alms. When the United States leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over the power. There are no two views about this. Neither are the Taliban caught in any differences about it. The Taliban are unanimous on this point that the Taliban will occupy power after the failure of the intra-Afghan talks. Thousands of people have been martyred and war has been waged against America for 20 years. Neither is this charity nor are they demanding alms."



[1] MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1532 Intra-Afghan Talks Deadlocked In Qatar, Taliban Mount Terror Attacks In 24 Afghan Provinces, Demand 'A Pure Islamic Government', October 2, 2020. Although the talks have not resumed, teams from both the sides in Doha have met recently to sort out differences.

[4] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), October 17, 2020.

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