STRUCTURE OF THE MOVEMENT
11. ASKED ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE MOVEMENT, [redacted] SAID THERE IS A "HIGH COUNCIL" OF EIGHT AND A LOWER SHURA OF 22. THE MEMBERS OF THE HIGH COUNCIL ARE: MOHAMMED OMAR, HAJI BASHAR, MOHAMMED HASSAN (GOVERNOR OF KANDAHAR), BAS MOHAMMAD, AHMADULLAH, ABDUR BAHMAN, QARI INSANULLAH AND ABDUL-SALAM. THE FIRST THREE NAMES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT, [redacted] OBSERVED, WITH MOHAMMED OMAR OCCASIONALLY CHANGING THE OTHER FIVE. ALL ARE MAULAVIS EXCEPT FOR HAJI BASHAR, AND ALL FOUGHT DURING THE JEHAD, HE NOTED. ALSO IMPORTANT IS THE TALIBAN MILITARY COMMANDER, MULLAH BORJAN, WHO IS DIRECTING THE MOVEMENT'S OPERATIONS AT KABUL. THE 22-MEMBER SHURA, OF WHICH [redacted] SAID HE WAS A MEMBER, DEALS WITH MORE ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES THAN POLICY MATTERS AND ALL ITS MEMBERS ARE "FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE MIDDLE OF THE ULEMA."
12. THE TALIBAN'S IMMEDIATE AIM, [redacted] SAID, IS TO DISARM ALL OF AFGHANISTAN AND ESTABLISH ONE MUSLIM GOVERNMENT FOR THE COUNTRY. ASKED ABOUT ELECTIONS, [redacted] SAID THE TALIBAN BELIEVE IN ELECTIONS, BUT WOULD WANT TO WAIT UNTIL ALL THE REFUGEES RETURN TO THE COUNTRY AND THERE WAS A MORE PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE. [redacted] SAID HE IMAGINED A GOVERNMENTAL SET-UP IN WHICH THERE WOULD BE ONE NATIONAL SHURA AND ALSO INDIVIDUAL PROVINCIAL SHURAS. HE SUGGESTED THAT THE CURRENT TALIBAN SHURA WOULD DECIDE WHO COULD RUN IN THE ELECTIONS. COMMENTING ON THE SUCCESS OF THE DISARMAMENT CAMPAIGN IN KANDAHAR, [redacted] JOKED THAT WHEN HIS SON HAD BEEN BORN A FEW DAYS PREVIOUSLY, THERE WERE NO GUNS IN THE DISTRICT TO ANNOUNCE THE EVENT TO THE VILLAGE (TRADITIONALLY, GUNS ARE FIRED INTO THE AIR TO SIGNAL THE BIRTH OF A SON).
The Taliban are in favor of gun control.
That should tell you something, right there.
The Taliban's current MO is to kill off local tribal leaders in Waziristan, and replace them with people friendly to themselves. The people in Waziristan are not well-enough armed to defend themselves against what is essentially a foreign invasion, foreign even though the Taliban originated in these areas along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those Saudi-funded Arab jihadis show up, and there goes the neighborhood -- it happened in Bosnia, it happened in Afghanistan, it happened in Kosovo, it happened in Iraq, now it's happening in Waziristan.
But, back to the cable:
NOT AGAINST THE SHI'A OR MINORITIES
13. ASKED ABOUT CONCERNS THAT THE PASHTUN, SUNNI TALIBAN WOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE SHI'A AND ETHNIC MINORITIES, [redacted] SAID PASHTUNS ARE 70 PERCENT OF AFGHANISTAN'S POPULATION, BUT THAT THE TALIBAN THOUGHT IT MORE IMPORTANT TO MAKE THE MINORITIES HAPPY. HE CLAIMED THERE WAS A LARGE SHI'A POPULATION IN THE TALIBAN-CONTROLLED PROVINCE OF ORUZGAN, AND SAID THERE HAD BEEN NO PROBLEMS. "THE SHI'A ARE MUSLIMS, WE HAVE LIVED WITH THEM FOR 200 YEARS" [redacted] DECLARED. "THEY HAVE IMAM BARAS AND WE HAVE MOSQUES, BUT WE WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH THEM," HE ADDED. THE SHI'A HIZB-I-WAHDAT PARTY IN KABUL HAD BEGUN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE TALIBAN, [redacted] SAID, AND BOTH SIDES WERE PLEASED WITH THE DISCUSSIONS.
14. ON THE ETHNIC ISSUE, [redacted] SAID THE TALIBAN WOULD DO "TOO MUCH" TO KEEP THE MINORITIES HAPPY. "WE WILL MAKE AN UZBEK GOVERNOR IN ATKIA AND A TAJIK GOVERNOR IN KANDAHAR," HE COMMENTED, "ALL THIS TO KEEP THEM HAPPY." CITING THE EXAMPLE OF DOSTAM AND FEARS THAT THE COUNTRY COULD BE DIVIDED, THE [redacted] SAID DOSTAM WILL BE FREE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN AFGHANISTAN, BUT MUST SURRENDER HIS WEAPONS AND ABIDE BY THE SHARIAH LAW. "EVERYONE WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE LAW," [redacted] NOTED.
This Taliban representative "SAID THE TALIBAN WOULD DO 'TOO MUCH' TO KEEP THE MINORITIES HAPPY."
What are they, Democrats? Or the governing elite in Sweden or the UK?
That thing about surrendering weapons fits right in, too -- disarm the people, then they can't resist the draconian laws you are putting in force.
Again, sounds like the Democrats & PC elite.
15. [redacted] SAID DOSTAM HAD RECENTLY SENT EMISSARIES TO THE TALIBAN, PROMISING TO SURRENDER ONCE "CERTAIN CONDITIONS" ARE MET. RABBANI HAD SENT SIMILAR MESSAGES, [redacted] NOTED, BUT MASOOD "WANTS TO FIGHT." IN KABUL, HARAKAT'S COMMANDER SIDDIQULLAH IS READY TO DEFECT TO THE TALIBAN, AND [redacted] SAID HE HAD ACCOMPANIED REPRESENTATIVES OF KHALIS, SAYYAF AND MOHEMMADI TO KANDAHAR WHERE THEY HAD PLEDGED TO SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT. ASKED ABOUT ISMAEL KHAN'S RELATIONS WITH THE TALIBAN, [redacted] SAID "ISMAEL KHAN IS A GOOD MAN, NOT THE BEST, BUT GOOD." KHAN IS READY TO SURRENDER TO THE TALIBAN, [redacted] JUDGED, AND COULD BE COUNTED ON TO OBEY THE MOVEMENT. ISMAEL KHAN'S COMMANDERS AROUND SHINDAND AIR BASE AND IN HALF OF HERAT PROVINCE ALREADY HAD PLEDGED SUPPORT TO THE TALIBAN, HE NOTED.
COMMITMENT TO DRUG ERADICATION
16. RESPONDING TO A QUESTION CONCERNING THE TALIBAN'S COMMITMENT TO DRUG ERADICATION, [redacted] SAID HE COULD BEST DESCRIBE DEVELOPMENTS IN HIS HOME DISTRICT OF MAROOF. THERE, HE SAID, THE TALIBAN LEADER ABDUL-SAMAD HAD BEEN APPROACHED BY POPPY FARMERS AND ASKED WHETHER THEY COULD CONTINUE TO GROW THEIR CROP. ABDUL-SAMAD HAD CALLED TOGETHER 30 MEMBERS OF THE ULEMA, WHO ISSUED A PUBLIC STATEMENT OPPOSING THE GROWING AND TRADING OF NARCOTICS, AFTER WHICH THE FARMERS HAD BEEN TOLD THAT THEY WOULD BE PUNISHED UNDER THE SHARIAH IF THEY CONTINUED POPPY PRODUCTION. IN CONCLUSION, [redacted] OBSERVED THAT "THE TALIBAN BELIEVE NARCOTICS ARE BAD."
Ah, but "bad" is relative. Narcotics can be permitted, if they get sold to infidels, and if the Taliban get a cut.
ATTITUDES TOWARDS OTHER COUNTRIES
17. SINCE HE EXPECTED TO HAVE A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS ONCE THE TALIBAN SUCCEEDED IN REMOVING ALL THE COMMANDERS FROM AFGHANISTAN, [redacted] WAS EAGER TO TALK ABOUT THE TALIBAN'S ATTITUDES TOWARDS OTHER COUNTRIES. HE SAID THE MOVEMENT SOUGHT GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES, BUT DID NOT LIKE SAUDI ARABIA'S EFFORTS TO INTERFERE IN AFGHAN RELIGIOUS MATTERS. SIMILARLY, THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT'S DESIRE TO INTERFERE IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS, AND THE EFFORTS OF ISI TO TREAT AFGHANISTAN "LIKE ANOTHER PROVINCE" ARE NOT APPRECIATED, HE OBSERVED. SAYING THAT HE KNEW PERSONALLY [redacted] COMMENTED THAT "AFGHANS ARE PROUD PEOPLE WHO DO NOT LIKE THE PAKISTANIS ALWAYS TRYING TO RUN THINGS AND PLACE THE AFGHANS ON A LOWER LEVEL." THE TALIBAN WANT VERY GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE U.S., HE NOTED, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE U.S. HAD BEEN SO HELPFUL IN THE JEHAD. [redacted] SAID THAT THE TALIBAN REALIZE THAT THE U.S. AND THE U.N. DO NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING BUT TO HELP THE AFGHANS.
Did this guy know that somebody in Pakistan was helping set up the Taliban?
A province of Pakistan, indeed -- and a very troubling one, it must have seemed to somebody.
18. ASKED TO COMMENT ON THE TALIBAN'S RELATIONS WITH THE U.N., [redacted] SAID THE BEST THING WOULD BE TO ARRANGE A MEETING WITH HAJI BASHAR AND MOHAMMED OMAR TO DISCUSS THE MATTER. HAJI BASHAR WOULD RETURN FROM PERFORMING UMRA FEBRUARY 26, AFTER WHICH A MEETING "IN SECRET" COULD BE ARRANGED. THE SECRECY WAS NECESSARY, HE SAID, BECAUSE OF EFFORTS BY THE ENEMIES OF THE TALIBAN TO PORTRAY THEM AS STOOGES OF OUTSIDE POWERS. "PEOPLE ARE SAYING BABAR, THE U.S. OR THE U.K. ARE BEHIND US," THE MAULAVI NOTED, "AND WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING WHICH MIGHT GIVE SUPPORT TO THIS VIEW." [redacted] PROMISED TO BE IN TOUCH THROUGH [redacted] ABOUT THE MEETING.
19. AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONVERSATION, [redacted] RAISED THE TOPIC OF PASHTUNISTAN. [redacted] SAID THE DURAND ACCORD, LIKE THE LEASE OF HONG KONG, "WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE." PAKISTAN HAD TRIED TO PRESSURE RABBANI INTO EXTENDING THE AGREEMENT, BUT HAD FAILED, [redacted] CLAIMED. [redacted] SAID THE ISSUE OF PASHTUNISTAN COULD BE ADDRESSED LATER, BUT NOTED THAT THE TALIBAN ARE NOW CAUGHT UP IN FIGHTING, TRYING TO BRING PEACE TO AFGHANISTAN.
Aha! The Durand Accord was "about to expire." What were we talking about in Talibanistan, Part 2?
Maybe Pakistan is on the road to being dismembered by the Taliban.
Maybe "Pashtunistan" will join Afghanistan and whatever is left of Pakistan to become provinces of Talibanistan.
20. COMMENT: [redacted] APPEARED TO BE ABOUT [redacted] YEARS OLD, SPOKE A LITTLE ENGLISH, AND CLEARLY WAS WELL DISPOSED TOWARDS THE UNITED STATES. HIS IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF TALIBAN EVENTS AND PERSONALITIES LENDS CREDENCE TO HIS CLAIM TO BE ONE OF THE MOVEMENT'S INSIDERS. END COMMENT.
Well, that's nice: he liked us.