15.07.2013 Author: Valeriy Maleev

Do United States and Qatar Flirt with Taliban against Kabul?

protection-money-2 (1)Once again we find ourselves witnessing a hypocritical policy of the United States. Against the backdrop of Washington’s desire to arrange negotiations between the Taliban and the authorities in Kabul, the United States actively drive a wedge between the warring sides in the Afghan conflict, publicly demonstrating their commitment and sympathy for the Taliban against the officially recognized Afghan authorities at the opening of “Taliban” office in Doha. And, of course, it was not without the active participation of Qatar, which has become an active puppet of the United States in their Middle East and Asia games. Although it was Qatar that for over 10 years ago was associated by Washington with international terrorism on the basis of the investigations of September 11, 2001 events in where the Qatari “footprint” was revealed.

 For an objective perception of complete picture of this phenomenon it is necessary to recall some recent developments.

 World public opinion, getting the events in and around Afghanistan, with hope received message from Kabul that on 18 June there took place a ceremony for the handover of responsibility for security from international troops of the NATO-Afghan authorities. It was attended by President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General A.F. Rassmusen. As stated by the latter, “the NATO forces would not now plan, conduct and command of the security operations, while continue to provide support to the Afghan troops.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on this occasion that the Americans and their allies unnecessarily boost the process of transferring responsibility to the Afghans, not looking at the specific situation in which this transfer occurs. And a confirmation of these fears happened just a week later.

On June,25 news agencies reported that Afghan police repelled a Taliban attack that day at the Presidential Palace and at the Defence Ministry in Kabul. All the militants, according to the press, were destroyed.

But the Americans would not be Americans, if not timed one event to another. In parallel with the accelerated transfer of responsibility for providing security to the Afghans in the country, the Obama administration had planned to begin talks with the Taliban in Qatar, where it was scheduled to open a representative office of the radical movement, leading a war against the United States as well as the Afghan army.

The representative of the American administration for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins “moved up” during this period in Doha. He arrived for a meeting with the leadership of the “Taliban”, and, as it turned out, to participate in the “festive” opening of the Taliban Office in Qatar. The leaders of this Organization felt so free in Doha and demonstrated their confidence in apparent support of the Americans, that they had opened the Office on June 16 under the name “the political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” and boldly raised the flag of the radical Islamists.

 It is worth to to notice, that just a few days after that, i.e. on June,22 the US Secretary of State John appeared in Doha, where he spoke at a meeting of the “friends of Syria”, where it was decided to support the Syrian opposition, including with arms.

 As we can see, the Qatari authorities “specialize” in hounding Washington on the organization of the motley opposition meetings – whether Syrian or Afghan.

Official Kabul strongly condemned the opening of the “Taliban” office with a fanfare. Raising the flag of Islamists over this “Office” considered violating the principles of the peace negotiations established by Karzai’s Government and Washington. These points, in particular, were singled out by the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, Zahir Tanin at the meeting of the Security Council on the settlement of the conflict in that country. The diplomat described the opening of the representative office of the “Taliban” in the Qatari capital as “theatrical” and stated that “it is contrary to the fundamental principles that were evolved before by the United States and Afghanistan.” And the President Karzai after the news on the opening of a Taliban Office, stated exasperately that he “interrupts peace talks with Taliban and cancels discussion with United States on security issues.”

The official Afghan authorities rightly perceived recent flirtations of the Americans with the Taliban, including opening of their offices in Doha, as an effort to destabilize Afghanistan, intending to “impose an alternative Government of the Taliban”, that Kabul would never allow.

 Speaking in Berlin at a press conference, President Obama acknowledged that the restoration of peace in Afghanistan will not be easy, “but we think that … Afghans must agree with Afghans how to break the cycle of violence and start up the country together”. There’s no denyingm that these are the good words. But why did then the United States encourage Taliban, up to “share power” with the current Government, and thus provoke divisions within this country?

As the Afghan President Karzai noted, “we see a great contradiction between the actions and the declarations of the United States about peace negotiations.” According to him, the Taliban are supporters of the continuing hostilities in the country. But behind the provocation with the opening of the Office of “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” in Doha, there is not only the United States, but also Pakistan.

 Reportedly, during separate talks between the United States and the Taliban there is a simple “haggling”. The Taliban reportedly promise to the Americans that they will not attack the remaining American bases in Afghanistan after 2014.

Who are the Taliban? The head of their Office in Doha is Tayyab Aga -“right hand” of the ideological Taliban leader Mohammed Omar, also known as Mullah Omar. It is notable that Washington promised a reward of 10 million dollars for the information which could assist in the capture of Mullah Omar. Among other radical oppositionists there are Haqqani Faction, a group of Pakistani Mehsud Faction and permanent Hekmatyar. It is believed that these extremist groups, like the Haqqani group, would continue to fight even if Mullah Omar reached peace with Kabul.

Russia continues to advocate for a leading role of Kabul in resolving the national crisis. “Dialogue with the armed opposition can have a positive effect only under the leadership of Kabul,” said the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Alexander Panin at the UN on the above-mentioned meeting of the UN Security Council.

So, almost two years of negotiations of the American administration with H. Karzai and the Taliban for understanding concluded with yet another scandal. You might ask: “who rules the roost? The Americans or the Taliban? The latter, as we have seen, beat the United States, who seem to not fully understand that it is needed to be consistent and take into account the interests of all parties, including Russia. Why not to involve Russia at some stage to solve the “Afghan knot”? We have both good feelings and experience, including a sad one.

Stability in Afghanistan and in the region meets in general the political and economic interests of both regional and global powers. So far it is troubled in this part of the Earth, it is impossible to consider any serious economic project – whether laying oil and gas pipelines, railways, building branches of hydraulic structures and etc. The relevance of these plans is long overdue, including intensification of the struggle against drug trafficking.

As for Qatar, his desire to “cherish in bosom” all kinds of radicals and extremists, even at the suggestion of Washington, is a very risky business. The rulers of this country should think more seriously about the consequences of provocations on the territory of Qatar whether against neighbors, Syria or Russia. One day gonna have to bear responsibility!

Valeriy Maleev, orientalist, exclusively for the Internet magazine “New Eastern Outlook»

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