Who’s Who in Afghanistan? Creating a New Impostor

Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were created by the Americans themselves, but later turned their arms against the Americans. Now someone (be it the British, or the Americans, or whosoever) is trying to create a new impostor to serve the needs of this or that outside power in Afghanistan.

And who creates the who’s?

During the whole month of November, highly advertized and, at the same time, carefully concealed talks between the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, and a person who was said to be a ‘senior Taliban commander’ and no less than ‘second in command’ Mullah Mansour, were going on in Kabul.

The topic of the talks was a very sensitive one, namely, the terms of Taliban’s participation in the future reconciliation process with the aim of establishing long lasting peace in the country that has been war-torn for more than 30 years.

And this was the main reason why the talks were, on the one hand, widely advertized and, on the other hand, most officials were trying to keep them as much secret as possible. On the one hand, pretending that the peace process in Afghanistan is going on and that the Karzai government has an upper hand in it, serves good for the present Afghan leadership. On the other hand, admitting that no peace process is possible without the Taliban’s participation, would mean a severe blow to Hamid Karzai and his clique. Hence the dubious approach to the talks on the part of the present Afghanistan leadership.

And then, late last week, the chief negotiator posing himself as Taliban’s second in command Mullah Mansour, simply disappeared after receiving a substantial sum of money amounting, according to some estimates, to several hundred thousand US dollars – just for taking part in the negotiations.

Now, all the parties concerned started looking into one matter: who exactly brought the fake “Mullah Mansour” to the negotiation table. It is known that the real Mullah Mansour is kept under custody in a Pakistani prison. The alleged impostor was also brought from Pakistan.

Late last week it was the US who blamed Great Britain (its closest ally in Iraq and Afghanistan) for bringing the “fake Mansour” to the negotiation table. In fact, it has been revealed that the man was a shop keeper from the city of Quetta in the West of Pakistan

As The New York Times has found out “the British spent a year developing the fake Taliban leader as a source.” And, according to the British sources, General Petreus, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was “buying into it”.

Over the week-end similar claims were expressed by Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff Mohammad Umer Daudzai, who, in his interview with The Washington Post, directly accused British authorities for bringing the impostor into the sensitive talks with the Afghan government.

No confirmation or denial has been received from official British sources. The only anonymous statement from British government sources holds that the UK was merely helping to facilitate Afghan-to-Afghan negotiations.

Who exactly is to blame for the impostor being introduced into the process of Afghan settlement – whether it was (as widely assumed) MI6, or CIA, or the Afghans themselves, is yet to be found out. As well as the answer to the question: who exactly was the man presenting himself as Mullah Mansour, and what was his real intention, is still to be sought for.

But several things are clear.

First. Whether we like it or not, no inter-Afghan settlement is possible without the Taliban’s participation. Therefore, the authorities were so eager to jump to the conclusion that the fake Mullah Mansour was the real Mullah Mansour, without carefully verifying the information.

Second. The latest incident has once again demonstrated that too many of the forces playing a crucial role in the process of inter-Afghan settlement, have been in fact created outside Afghanistan. This was the case with Al Qaeda created by the CIA at the times of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. This was the case with the Taliban which came in from Pakistan where most of its active participants had received religious education in a number of radical madrasahs. This is now the case with the fake Taliban negotiator.

The question that remains unanswered is the following. Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were created by the Americans themselves, but later turned their arms against the Americans. Now someone (be it the British, or the Americans, or whosoever) is trying to create a new impostor to serve the needs of this or that outside power in Afghanistan. But is there a guarantee that the impostor (if he and the force manipulating him are not identified) will not turn the arms against his creators, situation permitting?

Articles by: Boris Volkhonsky

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