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TALIBAN IMPOSTOR DUPED AFGHAN OFFICIALS

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A man who has been representing Taliban senior leadership in secret talks with the Afghan government appears to have been an impostor, New York Times reported on Monday 11/22/2010.

The man, calling himself Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor, the Taliban’s second-ranking official, was exposed after another man who knows the real Mansour did not recognize him during a negotiation session. The secret talks with the impostor had been going on for months and were used by senior USA officials to claim progress on the diplomatic front in the Afghan war (see – Peace-Talks 10.06.10 ).

NATO-ISAF and Afghan officials told the New York Times they held three meetings with the man, who allegedly received large sums of money to take part in the negotiations.

The fake Taliban leader, who travelled from across the border in Pakistan, even met with the Afghan president Hamid Karzaiin the presidential palace in Kabul, the capital. He was flown to the capital on NATO aircraft.

Hamid Karzai denied meeting Mansour “or a man claiming to be him” and dismissed the report as international media propaganda. “Don’t trust the New York Times,” he said. American intelligence officials in Afghanistan admited that they don’t often know what these people look like; that they can only go on who they say they are because these people have been hiding and fighting with insurgency for so long. “

NATO said it also helped to facilitate the discussions by providing air transport and securing roadways for two other Taliban leaders coming from Pakistan. The status of these Taliban leaders said to be involved is not clear. Since the air transport was coordinated with the notorious Pakistani intelligence ISI, which, in the past, disrupted times and again negotiations between Hamid karzai’s regime and any of the Taliban conglomerate, it is possible that the organization was, somehow, behind the deceit (see the case of Mullah Baradar ).  

Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, last week dismissed reports of Taliban involvement in peace talks to bring an end to the nine-year conflict as “misleading rumors” (see – Afghan Mess).

Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president, chairs the peace council tasked with brokering an end to the war with the Taliban (see – Jirga 06.05.10 ).

The Pentagon said, on Tuesday 11/23/2010, Violence in Afghanistan has reached an all-time high, with clashes up fourfold since 2007. In a twice-annual report to the US Congress, the Pentagon said progress had been “uneven”, with only modest gains against the Taliban insurgency. The Pentagon also reported gains in security, governance, and development in key areas.

But it warned the Taliban was exploiting perceptions NATO countries would soon withdraw combat forces. The report is no different than all the other reports in the last five years – ambiguous in its evaluation of the situation with the same insinuations and with the same bottom line – nothing new in Afghanistan.

* Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, the MI6, is said to have promoted the impostor, who they believed was a senior Taliban commander, touted as key to the Afghan peace process, according to the New York Times, on Friday 11/26/2010. MI6 paid Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour from May 2010 several hundred thousand dollars the Washington Post reported citing Afghan officials.

 

* Related topics ;  

11/2010 – HIZB-E-ISLAMI OFFERS TRUCE TERMS
11/2010 – WITHDRAWAL PLAN FROM AFGHANISTAN SUBNITTED
11/2010 –  BRITISH GENERAL ‘ AL QAEDA CANNOT BE BEATEN’

 

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