Afghan Biographies

Rabbani killed – Peace Process killed?

Subject Rabbani killed – Peace Process killed?

Was the killing of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani and other assassinations by insurgents strategically "significant" because it killed and ended the much trumpeted "Peace Process"?  No – because the Peace Process had never sincerely happened. Bagram Jail released and brainwashed Ex-Taliban and others without mandate held talks about talks. The "Peace Process" is fiction. It is an infowar asset to sweeten the NATO Exit Strategy as everybody knew that the Karzai Administration will sooner or later collapse after the withdrawal of ISAF from Afghanistan. So it was a tranquilizer for public consumption. Daoud Sultanzoy, a former lawmaker, said: “"For the short term at least, the peace process will come to almost a standstill, until the council can find its equilibrium again." Does Sultanzoy really believe, what he says?

Did the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff really believe what they said, when they described the death of Rabbani -- who was leading peace efforts in Afghanistan -- as part of a campaign of high-profile assassinations by the Taliban triggered by a lack of success on the battlefield?

The assassination of the Afghan government's point man on negotiations with the Taliban throws the fragile propaganda effort into disarray and complicates NATO and the U.S. hopes of finding a way out of the long conflict there.

Whether or not Rabbani and the High Peace Council were serious about making peace, if the Taliban claim this killing, it sends a powerful message that they are not interested in talking. This would make Rabbani’s assassination highly significant and proofs that the end of the war in Afghanistan is not in sight.

Putting Rabbani in charge of the High Peace Council had been a way for President Karzai to try to reassure the Tajiks and other ethnic minorities, who are on the whole not keen on a deal with the Taliban that their interests would not be sold out. So the mere existence and the activities of the council were the political target and nothing more. The killing also roils sensitive ethnic politics, which will weigh heavily in any negotiated end to the war.

Rabbani’s (himself a Tajik) stewardship of the council made him some bitter enemies among Tajiks, and he failed to win over some prominent figures associated with the Northern Alliance, the onetime militia that helped drive the Taliban from power. Chief among them is Karzai political nemesis  Abdullah Abdullah, a former presidential rival who accuses Karzai of being ready to concede too much to the Taliban even before any talks begin.

For these northern jihadi leaders, already reeling from the killings of Generals Daud and Seyidkheili earlier this year, Rabbani’s assassination is a further blow to any confidence they might still have had that their interests would be protected. His killing will further harden sentiments against any deal making. Already one of the other major northern leaders, the governor of Balkh and Jamiat stalwart, Noor Muhammad Atta, has asked (on Tolo television), ‘How are we supposed to negotiate with these wild devils?’ If the Taliban proves responsible for the killing, it would be another demonstration of insurgents' ability to penetrate even the most closely guarded centers of power.

Rabbani may not have been a peace-maker, but his killing has badly damaged the persuasion that a negotiated end to the bloodshed is possible.

Released 2011-09-22