“War is deceit,” of course, and only a fool would blindly assume the Taliban would come to the negotiating table in good faith. But there is another aspect of this story to watch carefully: namely, the likelihood of concessions toward a more robust implementation of Sharia law in Afghanistan.
Indeed, Sharia is already enshrined in the Afghan constitution, setting the stage for future conflicts — the imposition of Islamic law being the fundamental aim of jihad — and for future human rights abuses that Islamic law upholds as just and sacred. Those include stonings and lashes for adultery, the subjugation of women and unbelievers, and death for apostasy and “blasphemy,” the last two of which have been high-profile issues in Afghan courts under Karzai.
There is no reason for faith in Karzai to take a stand in the near or distant future, recalling his failure to condemn the practice of stoning, and the disastrous Shi’ite family law, passed under his watch, that legalized marital rape.
And the Sharia-for-“peace” push is already well underway. In August, Afghanistan’s “largest gathering of clerics,” meeting to discuss reconciliation with the Taliban, said “the lack of implementation of sharia hodud (punishment) has cast a negative impact on the peace process.”
In other words, surrender and submit for the “peace” of tyranny and oppression, if Sharia could even bring peace, because the next stage after accepting Sharia in principle is an indefinite period of infighting over how much Sharia is “enough” in practice.
That is where Afghanistan now finds itself. “Karzai sets up council for peace talks with Taliban,” from BBC News, September 4:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has formed a committee to seek peace talks with the Taliban, his office has said.
It follows the endorsement by tribal leaders in June of a plan to engage militants in a reconciliation process.
The Taliban, who were ousted from power in 2001, have been fighting to overthrow the US-backed government and expel foreign troops from Afghanistan.
The formation of the High Peace Council was “a significant step towards peace talks”, Mr Karzai’s office said. […]
Mr Karzai’s office said details of members of the High Peace Council, which could include former insurgents, would be announced after the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan next week.
Officials were meeting on Saturday to decide the composition of the body, it said.
The council is expected to be made up of about 50 people, include members of civil society, women, and figures from the opposition and government.
The BBC’s Mark Dummett reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul, that there is also speculation that it will include contentious so-called warlords who fought the Taliban as part of the Northern Alliance, before the Taliban were toppled in 2001.
Our correspondent says most Afghans will be hoping that the council will be a success.
But without knowing the names of the council members or how they will operate, it is impossible to tell how effective the body will be, he adds.
Mr Karzai had already met former mujahideen – or Afghan Islamic fighters – and other officials to discuss the council last week, AFP news agency reported.
The “peace jirga” that endorsed the president’s plans to negotiate with the Taleban in June also backed his proposals to offer an amnesty and reintegration incentives to low-level Taliban who accept the constitution….
The constitution with the “elastic clause” for Sharia.