Pak wants to control Afghan govt or West’s reconciliation process with Taliban: Riedel

November 13th, 2010 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Berlin, Nov 13 (ANI): Pakistan does not want direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government or the West, as it wants the process to be under its control, a terrorism expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington has said.

In an interview to Spiegel Online, terrorism expert Bruce Riedel said, “Pakistan does not want direct negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai or between the Afghan Taliban and the West. It wants to control the process so as to ensure it gets its preferred outcome, which is a satellite state next to Pakistan.”

“When Mullah Baradar started to talk about talks, the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) had him arrested. He is, from what I understand, under some sort of friendly house arrest now. But he is being used by the ISI as a signal to the other Taliban to prevent them from taking independent action,” he added.

While talking about the structure of the Afghan Taliban, the former CIA officer also pointed towards radicalization of militant groups based in Pakistan.

“The Afghan Taliban is composed of several networks and it is not clear how monolithic even these networks are within themselves. But there is a broader phenomenon going on inside all the militant groups based in Pakistan, which is a radicalization,” Riedel said.

“The idea of global Jihad is becoming more and more popular at the grassroots level. Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, who traditionally had a domestic agenda, are increasingly buying into the idea of globalized terrorism, he added.

When asked about the “increasing talk of trying to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan in order to achieve a political settlement,” Riedel replied, “We are all war weary, we are all looking for a way out, we would all like a political solution. The question is: Is the Taliban capable of the kind of process of compromise and negotiation that we want? And can it be separated from al-Qaida?”

“The odds are good that the answer is no and that the ties between the two are too strong at the operational and ideological level. In the US last year, we had an attempted attack on the Metro system in New York City which was al-Qaida sponsored but in which the terrorists had been given to al-Qaida by the Afghan Taliban. So in this sense they were involved in recruiting for a terrorist attack on America. That suggests it is going to be very, very hard to break up this connection,” Riedel added. (ANI)

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