This concept is not new; earlier, there were discussions about allowing the Taliban to open a “political” office in Turkey.
Only the Taliban would benefit from the opportunity to gain legitimacy, and to transform itself into Hizballah-like “political party” that also happens to function as a state-within-a-state with its own armed forces. Indeed, the office to open in Qatar is reportedly to bear the name of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” signaling that it does not recognize the current government in Kabul.
They will benefit the most from the ability to buy time through going through the motions of dialogue, while business as usual continues on the battlefield.
“U.S. backs move to let Taliban open headquarters in Qatar in the hope of ending war in Afghanistan,” from the Daily Mail, September 12:
Talks to end the 10-year war in Afghanistan could be on the horizon after the U.S. backed a plan to let the Taliban open political headquarters in the Middle East.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is likely to open a base in Qatar before Christmas, The Times said.
We’ll get it for Christmas? Coal in the stocking sounds pretty good right about now.
It is hoped this will help facilitate peace talks which could lead to a truce with the Taliban.
The hudna is never intended to last.
A senior member of the Taliban – Tayyab Agha – has been talking on and off with western diplomats for the past year but it is hoped this move will accelerate the process.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is understood to be backing the negotiations.
They must be sure they have the right guy this time.
When the HQ is opened in the Qatari capital Doha, it will be the first time the Islamist group has been treated like a political party since it fell from power in 2001.
The Times said the Taliban wants to make sure its members are free from harassment and arrest whilst based in the city.
This, from the group that was filmed beating women in the street when it was in power.
The Gulf state is believed to have agreed to let the group have a base after Washington decided that it should be located away from the influence of Pakistan.
One diplomat told the Times: ‘It will be an address where they have a political office.’
He said it would not be an embassy or consulate but ‘like a residence where they can be treated like a political party’….