More on this story. Reservations about negotiating with the Taliban are, of course, more than reasonable, but there is the principle of the matter in our “friend and ally” Karzai’s behavior. “Secret U.S.-Taliban talks were closing on deal to free kidnapped army sergeant before being scuppered by Karzai aides,” by Oliver Pickup for the Daily Mail, August 30:
Secret talks between representatives of the United States and the Taliban were closing in on a deal to free a kidnapped army sergeant, but were scuppered when Hamid Karzai’s aides leaked information about them.
Both U.S. and Afghan officials confirmed that the 54-year-old Afghan president kiboshed potential horse-trading with the Taliban, as he feared being out of the loop.
Though the discussions, held in Germany and Qatar, were only at a preliminary stage, a trade which would see Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, captured two years ago, was mooted.
In return, the talks centred on the release of a number of Afghan prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, as well as the Bagram airbase.
But before any deals could be firmed up, Mr Karzai’s aided leaked knowledge of the talks to the press, and all hope of striking a clandestine agreement were gone.
The Afghan president felt as though he was being undercut, according to U.S. officials close to the deals.
According to an unnamed senior Western diplomat in the region a childhood friend of his, Tayyab Aga, was the Taliban negotiator….