Green light for peace meetings between Kabul’s government and the Taliban. The Amir ul Momineen, the leader of the faithful, Mullah Omar spread a message during the Eid al Fitr’s day, the end of Ramadan opening a window on the long civil war in Afghanistan. “If we look at our religious rules, we find that the meetings or even the peaceful interactions with the enemy are not prohibited,” Taliban leader wrote, saying it is “legitimate” to conduct negotiations to end the conflict. “Together with the armed jihad, the political efforts and the peaceful ways to reach the sacred goals are part of a legitimate principle of Islam,” he noted. Last week a delegation of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan met with Taliban representatives in Murree, a hill resort town at the north of Islamabad in an attempt to silence the weapons after more than 13 years. It was established that there will be further meetings in the coming weeks.
The start of negotiations was greeted with satisfaction by Kabul, Islamabad, Beijing, Washington and the United Nations. Although some commanders are optimistic, many others are deeply suspicious. In fact there is a rift between the old and the new in the leadership of the Taliban movement. In his statement Mullah Omar tried to dispel any idea of a rift. “All the mujaheddin and countrymen should be sure that in this process, I will defend our legal rights and our point of view in the world,” he said, adding that the purpose of the meetings was to “put an end to ‘ occupation “of Afghanistan. Several informal meetings were held in recent months between representatives of the Taliban and Afghan officials and activists, but the summit last week showed a significant step forward.
This change has two main assumptions. The first is undoubtedly the changed summit in Kabul. The departure of Karzai, considered by the Taliban an American puppet, and the presidency of Gazhni favored the resumption of talks. Then there is the incontrovertible fact that the Taliban control at least 70% in southeastern Afghanistan, many of the villages and rural areas also in the province of Kabul. These are internal reasons. But to take this pragmatic attitude Mullah Omar was driven by the supporters of the Caliphate Isis also in the land of Khorasan. In fact, in his message, the Taliban leader responded to allegations of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who referred to him as subservient to Pakistan and Iran, supporting the long battle that saw the Mujahideen engaged for 36 years in Jihad against the invaders of all kinds.
After all Mullah Omar had had intercourse, as shown hy the documents declassified by FreedomAct, with Secretary of State during Clinton’s administration, Albright, from 1999 to 2001. Afghan officials had been having up to 2001 contacts with the staff of Bush senior. The pacification of Afghanistan would have as a direct consequence the stabilization of the border areas in Pakistan and a brake to the advance of Isis in the region. Last week in the province of Nagharar there was a furious battle between Taliban loyal to Mullah Omar and groups who have sworn allegiance to the Caliphate. Many young Afghans prefer the concrete At Baghadi to the elusive and mysterious Mullah Omar.
NATO, which ended its combat mission in the country in late December – although less remains a residual force to train Afghan forces -, should leave definitely by the end of 2016. The possibility of an expansion of ‘Isis in Afghanistan would be devastating. The Caliphate is uncompromising and will not negotiate with anyone: its goal is to unify the Muslim lands from the Mediterranean to India.
The nuclear deal with Iran and the start of peace meetingsin Afghanistan could open a new era of peace thanks to a new balance in the region. Since 1992 the armed intervention made by Western coalitions in the Middle East not only did not solve anything but dangerously aggravated the situation. In fact two countries are gone, Iraq and Syria, others are on the brink, Yemen and Libya; jihadist terrorism has a state structure, very distinct from the Taliban Emirate. Only a change of strategy and alliances may result in a real change of direction and in a stop to the expansion of Isis. And Mullah Omar has understtod it.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo