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Taliban ridicule US’s peace talks

I am left with no option but to take off my necktie and jacket and shoes and roll on the cold, wintry ground right here in downtown Brisbane. That is apparently the easiest way to gain grip over a seizure of uncontrollable laughter. 


Remember, I’d repeatedly warned the Americans were playing with fire when they began the media campaign against Pakistan’s ISI and began pretending they have the superpower’s wherewithal to directly get through to the Taliban leadership and negotiate an Afghan settlement without Islamabad being in the loop? Presumptuousness has its limits. The scriptures warned: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” The US, for sure, is reaping a bitter harvest. 
What else can one make of the taunting, mocking, defiant Taliban statement that Tayyab Agha never ever met the Americans? To be sure, someone out there in Afghanistan or Pakistan is making the CIA and the US state department and Pentagon and NATO and the Germans and the UN secretary-general’s special representative — the whole lot of them entrapped in the Hindu Kush — look very foolish. And the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had the gumption to ridicule the US’s ‘Afghan hands’ on an open line to a Pakistani newspaper in defiance of the US intelligence’s eavesdropping of any worthwhile telephone conversation in Pakistan! 
ZM also gave an Afghan-style warning — leaving things half-unsaid. He indirectly let the Americans know Taliban’s military is being ‘modernised’. Do you get the point? It was one such ‘modernisation’ – stinger missiles – that proved a turning point in the jihad in the 1980s. Are the Taliban acquiring new weapons that are capable of inflicting more damage to US power? So far, Taliban have claimed to have brought down 4 drones, including one last week. Taliban know US troops can’t fight without air cover. Or, are they getting rockets that can set the US bases on fire? Time will tell. 
ZM reiterated that Taliban will oppose the US’ so-called ‘strategic agreement’ with President Hamid Karzai on permanent American military bases in Afghanistan. Clearly, the US peace track – and Karzai’s peace track – has floundered. Pakistan has driven home the point, namely, that there can be no peace track that is not meeting with its concurrence and not accommodating its leadership. Worse still, the ‘Afghan hands’ in Washington, DC who fancied they knew all the needed to be known about the Pashtuns have been reduced to despair. Put simply, they don’t know anymore who is a Taliban — and who is not. What a predicament!  
Now what? Go on fighting till 2024? In immediate terms, the upcoming Berlin conference faces the danger of being reduced to a replay of the farcical Bonn conference of December 2001 — without the Taliban. 

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