Connect with us

Latest News

Veteran Afghan strongmen to form new front for talks with Taliban

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 29, 2021)

A band of veteran Afghan leaders, including two regional strongmen, are angling for talks with the Taliban and plan to meet within weeks to form a new front for holding negotiations on the country’s next government, a member of a group said.

Khalid Noor, son of Atta Mohammad Noor, the once-powerful governor of northern Afghanistan’s Balkh province, said the group comprised of veteran ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum and others opposed to the Taliban’s takeover.

“We prefer to negotiate collectively, because it is not that the problem of Afghanistan will be solved just by one of us,” Noor, 27, told Reuters in an interview from an undisclosed location.

“So, it is important for the entire political community of the country to be involved, especially the traditional leaders, those with power, with public support,” Noor said.

Atta Noor and Dostum, veterans of four decades of conflict in Afghanistan, both fled the country when the northern city of Mazar-i Sharif fell to the Taliban, without a fight.

The U.S.-backed government and military folded elsewhere as the Taliban swept into Kabul on August 15.

However, the backroom discussions are a sign of the country’s traditional strongmen coming back to life after the Taliban’s stunning military campaign.

It will be a challenge for any entity to rule Afghanistan for long without consensus between the country’s patchwork of ethnicities, most analysts say.

Unlike their previous period in power before 2001, the predominantly Pashtun Taliban did seek support from Tajiks, Uzbeks and other minorities as they prepared their offensive.

Despite a commitment to negotiations, Noor said there was a “huge risk” that the talks could fail, leading the group to already prepare for an armed resistance against the Taliban, Reuters reported.

“Surrender is out of the question for us,” said Noor, the youngest member of the erstwhile Afghan government’s team that held talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

Ahmad Massoud, leader of Afghanistan’s last major outpost of anti-Taliban resistance, last week also said he hoped talks with the Taliban would lead to an inclusive government, failing which his forces were ready to fight.

It remains uncertain how much popular support is actually enjoyed by leaders like Atta Noor, widely accused of corruption, and Dostum, accused of multiple acts of torture and brutality, and described in a U.S. State Department report as a “quintessential warlord”. Both leaders deny the accusations.

The Taliban, already a formidable military force, are now in possession of an estimated 2,000 armoured vehicles and up to 40 aircraft, among other arms left behind by fleeing Afghan forces, potentially bolstering their firepower.

Still, Noor said the Taliban would not be able to hold out against a popular resistance.

“History has shown that no one in Afghanistan can rule by force, it is impossible,” the Western-educated politician said, “No matter how much support they have from international community, it will fail.”

Latest News

US, UAE diplomats meet to discuss Afghanistan

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West met with UAE’s deputy envoy for the United Nations, Mohammad Abu Shahab, discussing the latest developments in Afghanistan, it was announced on Friday.

The sides also discussed empowering Afghan women and girls, and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2721, co-penned by the UAE and Japan, UAE Mission to the UN said in a post on X.

The 2721 UNSC resolution adopted in December last year, calls for the appointment of a UN special envoy for Afghanistan, a suggestion objected by the Islamic Emirate.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Top former US general claims Daesh-Khorasan is ‘on the upswing’

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

Retired General Joseph Votel, former chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), has claimed that Daesh-Khorasan is on the upswing, and that the US doesn’t have much on the ground to help reduce the risk.

“ISIS-K is on the upswing right now,” Votel said, Business Insider reported. “And we don’t have much on the ground to help reduce that risk that this organization poses.”

Before withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington had significant intelligence capabilities on the ground and the ability to conduct kinetic strikes against the group. But this “mowing-the-grass” approach to counterterrorism, Votel said, has since paved way for a stronger and more resilient Daesh-K that’s focused on projecting its influence elsewhere.

The US still has the ability to gather meaningful intelligence in the region, although Votel said these capabilities are likely diminished from what they previously were. But it’s very important, he stressed, that the US continues to dedicate resources toward the threat and make it a priority.

One way for the US to do this is to work with regional partners around Afghanistan, such as Pakistan or states in Central Asia, to increase collaboration and the exchange of information with regard to violent extremism, Votel said. Another method would be for lawmakers to reauthorize a powerful surveillance tool known as Section 702, which is set to expire later this month.

“It doesn’t take very long for these organizations to rise up and become more capable,” retired Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversaw military operations in the Middle East in the 2010s, said.

This comes as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that Daesh has been suppressed and does not have the ability to launch attacks from Afghanistan against any country.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Lightning strikes in Helmand kill one, injure three

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2024)

One person has died and three others have been injured by lightning strikes in southern Helmand province, officials said.

Abdul Bari Rashid, director of information and culture in Helmand, told Ariana News that lightning occurred in the provincial capital Lashkargah, and Gereshk and Babaji districts.

According to him, one person died in the lightning and three others including a woman and two children were injured.

Meanwhile, floods triggered by heavy rains have caused financial losses in Sangin district of Helmand.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!