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Feb 26 2010

Pakistan: Taliban Arrests & Taliban talks?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — entry @ 07:27AM

What a mess! The Council on Foreign Relations put together a great talk on Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, Afghanistan, the Afgani Taliban, India and the military. There is so much there. CFR has provided a full transcript that can be found here.

Some of the quotes I found interesting:

RASHID: Well, you know, the reintegration is being carried out by the U.S. military and by the Afghan military and by, you know, local government officials. And it’s a local/regional thing.

The dialog that has perhaps begun, between the Kabul government and the Taliban, is operating at a completely different level. And I don’t believe at the moment that — you know, Westerners are in touch with the dialog. But they’re not directly negotiating with the Taliban.

This next idea I particularly liked:

RASHID: Now, let me say, you know, too, and I think it’s — so I think we will see flexibility in these negotiations from both sides. Now, clearly, there are some red lines which have to be set down. Now, I think one of those red lines is about al Qaeda. That’s absolutely elemental. And what that — what that will mean is actually — the problem with that is Taliban can say, “We’ve broken with al Qaeda.” How do you prove it? You know, that’s the question.

And actually — I mean, ultimately, you will have to tell the Taliban, well, if you really want to come into government and you have really broken with al Qaeda, you have to go after them yourself and catch them for us, because you know where they are, actually. (Laughter.) Now, I mean, I’m talking to you about, you know, something way ahead, I mean, which may — which may be a complete pipe-dream. But that will be the only way finally to get the proof of their — of their genuineness about al Qaeda.

Speakers:

Marvin G. Weinbaum, Scholar-in-Residence, Middle East Institute

Ahmed Rashid, Author, “Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia”

Presider: Carol A. Giacomo, Editorial Board Member, the New York Times

February 22, 2010
Council on Foreign Relations

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