Do Not Act Without a Plan
The Taliban’s efforts to prevent the formation of resistance fronts against the group have intensified. The spontaneous resistance of the people is the biggest challenge for the Taliban to move forward. Recent statements by the Taliban make it clear that the group is concerned about the formation of these fronts.
The Taliban is trying to portray a “false face” of itself to the people by issuing pleadings. The group has also tried to show a people friendly face in its promotional videos. In these announcements and videos, an attempt has been made to hide the dimensions of murder, horror and cruelty of this group. These announcements and videos are appealing to the general public.
At the same time, the group’s direct meetings with tribal elders, mullahs and influential people have intensified. Amir Khan Mottaqi, a member of the Taliban Qatar office, recently traveled to Uruzgan, Helmand and Daikundi. He also met with Shiite elders in Kajran district.
A video released from the meeting shows Mottaqi speaking to a crowd of dozens. In this speech, he denies discrimination, revenge and intolerance. Mottaqi tells his Shiite audience that the Taliban have no problem with this religious minority. He expects that Hazaras and Shiites should not stop the group from advancing to the central regions of the country.
Taliban propagandists are doing the same in other provinces. They demand a surrender from the police and army soldiers with a “sword”. They also persuade tribal elders and mullahs to block efforts from people for helping the police and army. They are encouraged not to create resistance.
The direct conversation of high-ranking Taliban officials and propagandists with tribal elders, mullahs and socially influential people is not good news for the government. Earlier, it was reported that some districts and checkpoints had fallen into the hands of the Taliban through the same cloth. Conquering the minds and consciences of the people with the magic of words and the magic of propaganda will weaken the roots of the government and the system among the people.
The government has said it will arrest and punish those who mediate the fall of checkpoints and districts. In one case, this warning was implemented. However, this warning is not expected to prevent tribal elders and mullahs from collaborating with the Taliban. The right thing to do is to find a more fundamental way to thwart the Taliban’s propaganda. The government should be able to expose this group to the people through propaganda and dialogue with Malik and Mullah.
The Taliban have recognized the gap between the people and the government. This gap was very deep in the last presidential election. The low turnout of people in the elections showed that the gap runs deep between the people and the government. This gap, however, is an opportunity for the Taliban. This group is exploiting this gap.
The government should be worried about the future. The Taliban are occupying not only the districts but also the people. The government is based on the people. The Taliban’s domination of the people will make the existence of the government meaningless.
The call by the acting director of the Ministry of Defense to stand up to the Taliban was a promising step. The insurgents, however, are currently unhappy. Their thirst for resistance is relatively low. The most obvious reason is their lack of confidence in the government’s continued assistance to volunteer forces. It is not yet reported that the government has fulfilled its promises to the volunteer fighters. Many of these fighters are worried that the government will continue to leave them alone.
The Taliban now see the government as a sub-negotiator. This group has chosen the people as the main party to negotiate with. This is dangerous for the government.
The Taliban are also in direct contact with neighboring countries. The group’s negotiating team has been in talks with Pakistani, Iranian, Turkmenistani, Uzbekistani and Chinese officials in recent months instead of with the Afghan government delegation. The Taliban delegation sought to persuade its neighbors to maintain neutrality in the Afghan war. The group has also assured its neighbors that it will not harm them. The result of this diplomacy is clearly seen in the neighbors’ stance on the war in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have come to believe that if they can prevent the formation of resistance fronts as a result of dialogues with mullahs, tribal elders and the general public, they will not need to negotiate with the government. The group also sees the shortest way to achieve the goal is to avoid confrontation with neighbors, regional powers and world powers. Because of this, instead of negotiating with the Afghan government, the Taliban are negotiating with neighbors and countries involved in Afghanistan’s affairs. The government needs to change this equation to assure its survival.
Finally, it should be emphasized that the Taliban are not what they appear in their propaganda videos and declarations. This fundamentalist group is still in conflict with democracy, freedom, human rights and diversity. The Taliban group is hostile to the phenomenon of citizens and seeks out subjects to rule over. The unification of society and its management with valleys and whips is part of the religious duty of this group. People should not be fooled by the angelic representation of this fundamentalist group.