It became known today that the new government of Afghanistan amnestied and released high-ranking officials of the Taliban movement, who had recently yielded to the new Afghani government and admitted the legitimacy of the new administration. A step of the Pashtun commanders was not an inspiriting one for the representatives of the international community, to put it mildly.
Mullah Obaidullah – the defense minister of the Taliban, Nuraddin Turabi - the justice minister, and several other senior officials of the movement are among the ones, who were amnestied. They all are free to get back home. Jalal Han, one of the closest attendants of Kandahar's mayor Gul Agha, said in an interview to a Reuters correspondent: “We now consider those, who put their weapon down on their own free will, our brothers, and we give them an opportunity to live in peace.” There is a contract, which protects the former members of the Taliban movement, who surrendered voluntarily. Han added, those people were not going to participate in the political life of the country anymore.
As it turned out, the head of the Afghanistan government Hamid Karzai had not even been informed about the decision, made by the Pashtun governor. Karzai was reportedly furious, when he found out about the decision of the Kandahar government to release the Taliban former leaders. The Pentagon had the similar thoughts and feelings on the subject. A Pentagon spokesman said that the senior Taliban officials should have been conveyed to the American military command, since “the representatives of the Taliban administration were of extreme interest for the USA.”
Indeed, the released officials could give a valuable information about al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. One of the amnestied officials was on USA’s list of wanted terrorists, together with Bin Laden. The Pashtun governor and his followers do not really care about the fact that the ideologists of the Afghan terrorist movement were amnestied, but not the soldiers, or military commanders. The Afghans said it was first necessary to prove the guilt of the captives, and those, who had yielded on their free will, could be amnestied.
USA’s special representative in Kabul Zalmay Khalilzad stated that the American aviation would continue bombing the territory of Afghanistan till there was no danger of al-Qaeda or Taliban to activate their work again. Even if this danger passes by, then it is not going to be a consequence of the American military influence. This will mean that the Afghans arranged something again. The militant tribes have their own laws.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov