Post-2014: Taliban cadre warns of civil war in Afghanistan

Published: September 18, 2012
Mutasim called for a broad-based intra-Afghan dialogue, urging all stakeholders to cease hostilities.

Mutasim called for a broad-based intra-Afghan dialogue, urging all stakeholders to cease hostilities.


Launching an appeal for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, a senior Taliban leader on Monday warned of a possible civil war following the withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from the war-torn country.

Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim – who once headed the powerful political commission of the Afghan Taliban – said Afghanistan has bled for over three decades because “alien conspirators” used the Afghans against each other. He, however, did not name any foreign country.

Mutasim was critically injured in a firing incident in Karachi in August last year – apparently for his quest for peace.

After receiving treatment at a Karachi hospital he proceeded to Turkey for further treatment. Afghan sources told The Express Tribune that Mutasim has initiated efforts to unite some former senior Taliban cadres in a bid to launch a peace initiative.

Mutasim, a former close confidant of Mullah Omar, had served as finance minister in the Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001.

According to sources, Mutasim recently visited an Arab country to meet a group of Taliban leaders who are willing to join the reconciliation process. He is also said to have offered to play a role in the Saudi peace initiative.

Mutasim called for a broad-based intra-Afghan dialogue, urging all stakeholders to cease hostilities. So far, the Taliban have rejected the possibility of any dialogue with the Karzai government.

“Alien enemy has taken advantage of the internal rift of Afghans and the time has come for the latter to learn a lesson from the bitter experiences of the past and reach an understanding,” Mutasim said in a statement emailed to The Express Tribune. He said Afghans should now accept, accommodate and forgive each other, and work for national unity.

It is the first time a senior Taliban leader has called for a ceasefire and an intra-Afghan dialogue.

Mutasim said US-led Nato troops are pulling out and if the Afghans could not reach any agreement before 2014, they would be pushed into another civil war. Afghanistan had slid into a deadly civil war following the withdrawal of the then Soviet forces in the late 1980s.

“The post-Soviet civil war had ravaged Afghanistan, and the destruction had paved the way for foreign aggression,” he said referring to the US-led invasion in 2001.

“So all Afghans, if they are Jihadi groups, political groups and alliances must set aside differences and pursue the politics of unity and understanding and resolve differences through negotiation,” he said.

Before Mutasim, former prime minister and chief of Hizb-e-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, had also warned of a possible civil war in Afghanistan in an interview The Express Tribune this year.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • usman
    Sep 18, 2012 - 9:18AM

    Please give peace to Afghans. Stop war. They are fed upRecommend

  • farooq
    Sep 18, 2012 - 9:27AM

    The Muslim World should spare some time and take serious steps to find out solution to the long-standing Afghan problem. Afghans are tired of war. Muslim nations should help them live in peace.Recommend

  • Sunny
    Sep 18, 2012 - 9:35AM

    strange. it looks taliban back longer stay of foreign forces in afghanistan. May be it is an attempt to level ground for it. Pity on Afghan people who are suffering due to the “war games” of the big powers.Recommend

  • Popularist
    Sep 18, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Historically an untrustworthy nation. Trechery, mistrust, crime and thanklessness runs in their blood. There are so many evidences. Pakistan sold themselves to help them but today they openly abuse and accuse Pakistan. On the other hand Countries like Saudi Arab are constantly busy playing their games in endlessly trying to create another Salafi/Wahabi state. Since three decades they have been funding for this objective. General Zia the worst tyrant of history belonged to the same school of thought and hence he propelled religious hatred and hardcore so called religious beliefs in Afghanistan the spill over of which took place in Pakistan and even todate we are eating the bitter and sour fruit of his efforts in the form of banned religious fanatic outfits and sectarian violances. So the only remedy to end this filth is to cordon off upper Pakistan and Afghanistan and nuke it! it will bring devastation for us but perhaps more safety for our children of tomorrow,


  • Hasan Mehmood
    Sep 18, 2012 - 10:01AM

    {He said Afghans should now accept, accommodate and forgive each other, and work for national unity}

    Absolutely true. But I shall keep repeating that compromise / accommodation / coexistence / forgiveness / flexibility / power sharing etc is alien to Taliban culture till I go red in the face.

    The absolute faith in their value system, intolerance to other narratives, clinging on to the most rigid Sharia interpretation and willingness to kill and be killed for the sake of their barbaric ideology shall remain their greatest weakness and greatest strength.

    I keep begging Taliban apologists to prove me wrong but to no avail. If his views are actually implemented on ground, I will be the happiest person on earth.


  • Vicky
    Sep 18, 2012 - 11:13AM

    Finally read some sensible talk from sane leader. Best of luck.


  • SSM
    Sep 18, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Unfortunately, Most of Taliban Leaders are illiterate & fanatic hardly understands meaning peace and humanity… but this guy seems different…


  • Arshad Khan
    Sep 18, 2012 - 4:48PM

    First time real and peacefull words by a Taliban leader. He was attacked for his peacefull concepts in Karachi. It means there is no place in Pakistan for peace liking Talibans. Pakistan should change his policy about Taliban, so that we and people of Afghanistan could live in peace and prosperity.


  • Hasan Mehmood
    Sep 19, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Dont get excited. He will be disowned pretty soon.


  • Oct 15, 2012 - 6:42PM

    When oxygen is tolally discharged then creat a vaccume and hurrican comes to fill vaccum.
    Afghanistan has same the situation,political difference,insurgency foreign interfarence ,stooges in power,freedom fighters are out of power,old vendattas and in such situation dominated forces are getting out,it is indispensable can not be ruled out civil war in the Afghan stoney land.

    but the fact attributed to the circumstances can not be overlooked,Pakistan as muslim neighbour nucleared armed state can play a crucial role saving this land locked country from tremendous civile clash expected after American nato forces withdrawal in being repeatedly expressed/announced


  • Oct 15, 2012 - 6:51PM

    @Hasan Mehmood:
    What you talking about,who is exciting,
    those,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,by shooting on innocent teengaers
    don’t affiliated hope with them,they are brainless but called
    muslims having in hand a full frame work of a model muslim

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