Afghan Biographies

Karzai´s Peace ambitions again sidelined

Subject Karzai´s Peace ambitions again sidelined

Afghanistan's Taliban confirmed that it has sent a delegation to Iran for three days of talks, signaling that Teheran could be seeking the role of regional mediator in negotiations to end its neighbour' s 12-year war. They said a separate group of Taliban clerics attended a religious conference in Teheran. Four top Taliban top, Syed Tayyeb Aghan, Maulvi Shahab-ud-Din Dilawar, Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanakzai and Qari Din Muhammad travelled from Qatar and three other Taliban leaders – Shams-ud-Din Pehlawan, Mulla Numani and Muhammad Naeem joined them later.

An Iranian news agency said on 20130601 that Teheran had hosted a Taliban delegation an unprecedented development, since the Sunni Muslim Taliban have long been enemies of Iran's ruling Shi'ite clerics.

The delegation was led by Sayed Taib Agha and Mohammad Ullah Nomanee, the Taliban representatives in Qatar and Shamsuddin Pahlawan respectively a former Taliban Governor of the Maidan Wardak province was also among the delegation. The delegation has gone to discuss about Iran's cooperation with the Taliban post 2014, when the foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

The Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry said that discussions have begun over the credibility of Taliban's trip to Iran. They had to say so, because the trip has not been Kabul controlled and if true it might damage Karzai`s peace campaign. At the same time, a Taliban official confirmed the trip. This comes together with the unconfirmed news that a member of the Taliban’s Shura was allowed to set up an office in May 2013 in the eastern Iranian city of Zahidan.

"To defeat the US and neutralization of the Afghan peace process is at the backdrop of this trip," political expert Ajmal Balochzada said.

And by opening an office in Qatar, the Taliban appear to be confronting the government on two fronts, the military and political front. Let’s see who will be the winner of this complicated game.

However - Karzai has again been sidelined with his fruitless peace initiative.

Released 2013-06-19