Diplomatic mayhem: Taliban’s release sparks fresh tensions

Published: January 21, 2013

Afghan government views Pakistan’s release of the Taliban as an ‘incomplete’ process as they do not know about their locations. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cannot attach the condition on freed Afghan Taliban prisoners of negotiating with the Afghan government, a Pakistani official said on Sunday, a day after Afghan officials insisted that prisoners should be released with the consent of the Afghan authorities so that they could not rejoin insurgents.

Pakistan has freed 26 Afghan Taliban prisoners, including an influential former minister, several ex-governors and top commanders, over the past two months to push the much-required reconciliation process forward.

“We can’t push them (Taliban) to talk to the Afghan government. We have started their phased release and have set free 26,” a Pakistani official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.

However, now the Afghan government views Pakistan’s release of the Taliban as an ‘incomplete’ process as they do not know about their locations.

A senior member of the Afghan Peace Council, Ismael Qasemyar said that there should be a joint Afghan-Pakistan mechanism to “assess the role of the freed Taliban in the possible dialogue process” as the freed Taliban include some important leaders like former Taliban minister, Mulla Noor-ud-Din Turabi.

“God forbid, if the freed Taliban rejoin the insurgents, then we may lose faith,” Qasemyar told The Express Tribune. He said the release of the Taliban should be coordinated with the peace council and information about their locations shared.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2013.

Reader Comments (16)

  • nm
    Jan 21, 2013 - 11:03AM

    Why release them then??! Weren’t we doing this at the request of Afghanistan? If you can’t meet their requirements, which make perfect sense, then they shouldn’t have done it all. I do not have (polite) words to express the true stupidity of it!

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  • ahmed
    Jan 21, 2013 - 11:31AM

    First they said free the Taliban so we can talk to them, when we freed them now they are saying its not complete, convince them to the talk. well, Taliban cannot be dictated by anyone, they are stubborn people. in my personnel opinion they will be ready to talk when the US leave Afghanistan.

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  • Sajjad
    Jan 21, 2013 - 11:39AM

    why we became a frontline ally?

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  • WTH
    Jan 21, 2013 - 12:08PM

    Pakistan should not release the prisoners they should hand them over to Afghan officials, and let them officially release them! How did they not think of this before? Now tomorrow, when these taliban rejoin the insurgents, Pakistan will be blamed for having released them. We should not be liable for them.

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  • fareeha
    Jan 21, 2013 - 12:29PM

    @ahmed, I hope things were that easy. The precondition of release is that they negogiate with Afghan govt. these people are not only stubborn but cold blooded killers.They are just disappearing and re arming themselves against the govt. Pakistani govt should realize that thou shalt reap what you sow.

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  • Najeeb
    Jan 21, 2013 - 12:48PM

    “”"”You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink “”"‘……there are some elements in the Afghan Peace council which feels uncomfortable with Taliban… If taliban gets into Peace… these elements will have no more power and influence in the Afghan government.. so they have to defend or play a negative role so that Pakistan also gets into problems with Taliban….

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  • Jan 21, 2013 - 1:20PM

    Things are bizarre but for totally other reasons. Pakistan had held messers Birader and Co because they were in negotiation with Karzai Govt keeping Pakistan out. Pakistani establishment ‘taught’ them a lesson since Pak Establishment is ‘oh so smart!‘ Now that they are releasing them, forget at all that these gentlemen (apologies for the usage of word) will chant Pakistan’s name in a gentlemen’s way. Kabul should be happy that they finally get to talk with their intended audience.

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  • Ehsan Zaffar
    Jan 21, 2013 - 1:40PM

    @fareeha, agreed, they are “not only stubborn but cold blooded killers”. then why do Afghanistan want them released in the first place?

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  • citizen
    Jan 21, 2013 - 3:06PM

    they are released because our judges do not punish them or because witnesses shy away from giving their shahadat.

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  • kHaN
    Jan 21, 2013 - 5:05PM

    @ahmed
    Just about three years ago, an old-days friend of my uncle and an ex-commander of the Taliban was arrested by security forces in Quetta and was jailed for six months. He was later released on condition of going back to Afghanistan to fight the Afghan/ISAF forces.

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  • Rex Minor
    Jan 21, 2013 - 5:43PM

    Collin Powel the former secretary of state under George W, says that America never had problems with the Taliban Govt. in Afghanista; it was only when they refused to handover Osama which compelled us to use force against them! End of quote. Pakistan Govt of Musharaf caved in to yanks, unlike the Talibans, which became the fluncky of the Americans.
    The released talibans will be the one who wil take over the next Afghan Govt. The Talibans are the soldiers of God and do not negotiate with adversaries, never have in the entire Pashtun history.

    Rex Minor

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  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Jan 21, 2013 - 6:02PM

    If Pakistan releases them without vonsulting the Afghan govt. then it will be considered as breach of trust between the two countries . Pakistan seems to be following the same policy in respect of Afghanistan . The move could be disastrous for Pakistan . Think on it .

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  • Rex Minor
    Jan 21, 2013 - 8:17PM

    @Dr.A. K.Tewari:

    Afghanistan under the Talibans will reclaim its winter capital PESHAWAR and its territory upto and incluing the land upto the sweet water river.

    Rex Minor

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  • cautious
    Jan 21, 2013 - 9:28PM

    @Rex Minor. FYI – the only two countries in the World that recognized the Taliban were Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – so your constant rhetoric that America didn’t have a problem with the Taliban until 911 is nonsense.

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  • Perwana
    Jan 21, 2013 - 9:35PM

    Isn’t it funny America and Afghanistan talk about Pakistan not doing enough against Taliban and on the same time they want Pakistan to release the Taliban prisoners? The best example i can think for them is of wife who is never happy no matter what you do for her.

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  • Faisal
    Jan 22, 2013 - 1:10AM

    Rex minor. I very commonly listen to Afghans telling how their empire extended to Attock and Indus. What nonsense. You cant claim a land whose people don’t want to join u. End of story. The people of KPK have never expressed a desire to be one with Afghanistan. So ur claim is nullified. Secondly, every country at one time extended into another. Afghanistan’s north was once part of Tajikistan. So give Tajiks their right to join with Tajikistan

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