tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 22 Al Jazeera January 23, 2019 3:32am-4:01am +03
a human rights commission is accusing security forces of systematic torture of the recent protests turned violent president them submitted and used twitter to condemn demonstrations the u.s. senate is likely to vote this week on bills that if powerhouse could end the month long partial government shutdown the competing proposals by republicans and democrats would see several federal agencies the longest government shutdown in u.s. history with hundreds of thousands of workers going without a paycheck. mexico's president has responded to last week's pipeline blast with measures to improve living conditions reforms are aimed at regions where fuel theft is more likely to take place the program focuses on jobs pensions and credit problems. all you have to date with the headlines here or not is there more news coming up right after inside story.
a taliban attack in afghanistan killed dozens of security personnel on monday at the same time members of the armed through for holding talks with u.s. diplomat from qatar so is the taliban using a strategy of attacks and talks this is inside stories. and welcome to the program i'm richelle carey afghanistan has been at war for much of the past forty years and late two thousand one hundred states sent troops in response to the nine eleven attacks and the withdrawal of those troops has been one of the sticking points as talks going under way in katara between u.s.
and taliban representatives but hours before those talks began in doha taliban fighters launched one of their most daring attacks in recent months a gun and bomb raid on an afghan intelligence and military base southwest of kabul that killed dozens of security personnel many are now looking to see if the timing of the attack coming on the eve of those talks could have an impact on negotiations there have been several efforts to bring the taliban to the negotiating table but the armed group has repeatedly refused to hold direct talks with the afghan government and stead its insistent on the go shaded with the u.s. with the primary goal of forcing foreign troops out of the country at the request of the u.s. the taliban opened an office in doha in two thousand and thirteen to facilitate talks the u.s. has shifted its policy last year and said it was ready to hold direct talks with the taliban and discussed the role of international forces around the talks took place in the u.a.e. last month before officially resuming in qatar this week.
let's bring in our guests now in kabul omar zakhilwal he is a former president's special representative to be an afghan ambassador to pakistan in islamabad and school head of the center for research and security studies and in washington david said a former deputy u.s. assistant secretary of defense for afghanistan and pakistan thank you all for joining us i appreciate it very much i'm going to start with you well the timing of this attack what message do you think the taliban is trying to send. it's not a very good message because. talks need to in an environment. that is more conducive in violence reduction would be the right response but unfortunately the attack yesterday was to the contrary. but had the same time it's
important that this does not relieve the ongoing talks and that we focus forward with this ok same question to you empty as well what message do you think the taliban will was trying to send doing this and at the time that they did it i think being a party to the conflict being one of the decoder they just wanted to underline their own strength on the ground they just sent a message to all and sundry that whatever the government think of them they can still penetrate as far as even the intelligence and security facilities of the government and this is basically going to score the strength on ground right now in david m.t.s. brings up a good point not just not just this attack but specifically the target just all of that together what type of message do you think they're trying to send. well i think it is actually quite common when talks are underway for those involved in
a conflict to try to gain advantage in particular the weaker side tries to melt attacks in order to maximize its strength and in this case the taliban are are clearly the weaker side and this attack is part of their effort to strengthen their position as they go into talks with other message this texans is that the real target of the taliban is the afghan government and afghan security forces while the taliban rhetoric has been that this is about foreign troops and u.s. presence in fact those who have been killed by the taliban are overwhelmingly afghan and over the last four years since the u.s. basically drew down most of its troops in afghanistan the taliban have increasingly been targeting afghan security forces so this is actually a two pronged message by the taliban first they want to get stronger in case talks go forward but second they're sending a message to afghans that you are the target and we're going after afghans so what's what has been seen as one of the sticking points one of two major sticking
points is what should be the release of taliban prisoners and their insistence that u.s. troops leave you're saying you think that's a bit of a pretense for what they're really after. yes clearly the taliban have not yet made a decision over whether they want victory or whether they want peace through to go she ations so far their stance in the negotiations has been that they want victory in the negotiations by marginalizing eradicating the existing afghan government and power structure they would be happy to do that by violence which is what their primary tactic is if they can achieve the same result through negotiations they're happy to do that once feet decide that their goals are better served by peace talks they will sit down and talk to the other afghans but right now they're saying they're basically afraid to do that because they know if they sit down with other afghans they would have to have real discussions about the real future of their country which i don't think the taliban is prepared to do yet ok m.p.'s do you
agree with that that this is what the taliban is after is really much more targeted towards afghans an afghan government and much less about a u.s. presence there. what i think it's a political struggle or a political fight that the taliban have launched and for them their primary interlocutor is the united states which is footing the bill of the entire government and the security forces and i think just because the american troops are saw in saluted to the security color that the afghans provide. very logically the first victim in the first we basically are the of security forces that's why increasingly we have seen much bigger casualties among the afghan forces rather than those of the united states the u.s. marines so promote only i think they are going about their mission and the mission is to force the american troops out of afghanistan and this is this has been their
stated demand as well and in fact the yesterday the message from the taliban spokesperson was also that the talks are specifically aimed at extracting a deadline for the american pullout from of understanding omar i'm going to get to you in a minute but i want to circle back to david if you just bear with me for a moment as david i could see that i think you took a little bit of exception to some of what empty asset. yes i always appreciate being on a panel with just him to as go he and i have spoken on panels before i respect his views but i think in this case the statement that the primary target are security forces is not borne out by the facts the primary target of the taliban over the last four years has been afghan civilians the people that the afghan taliban have killed the most are afghan civilians by far the afghan security forces are sometimes the target and this attack yesterday was clearly an attack at on afghan
security forces but the people who have borne the brunt of this are the afghan civilians many more of them have been killed and wounded and the fact the taliban are killing so many afghan civilians has led most of the afghan people to reject the taleban which puts the taliban in a difficult position when they want to seize power over a nation where over eighty percent of the people oppose them omar which it would you like to weigh in on this. well one. this attack may not have the full approval of the. entire leadership for the entire relevant country of the taliban. whenever there are peace talks there will be groups within taliban who oppose such talks in they believe in their military victory and it's not the first time that when there are a whole for talks and then there are some initial steps violence has mounted and
therefore yesterday's attack goes into maligns and therefore is not an exception that's one second. targets of opportunity than targets soft targets and all that if they come their way they have taken advantage of those before in certainly yesterday was again not an exception this was to them. in opportunistic move may be may be timed with peace talks maybe it wasn't we don't really know but they did take advantage of the opportunity in their death sector deadly. attack in on that and i do agree with. david that over the past many years because of the u.s. forces. the number has significantly reduced and and therefore because what it is but. no doubt. also at the end there's a pressure on the u.s.
forces in the u.s. government as well. but for them to prove that their military strength and all that that's already been recognized we're talking peace with the taliban not because they're the most love groups but because they're a fighting force that force has been recognizing that precisely we have negotiated with the peace. david what. one of patience as the taliban have to actually negotiate i mean so far they control roughly about half of the country what what reason do they have to negotiate and compromise. well first of all let me clarify that you say they control almost half the country the taliban control a lot of the rural areas they control certain amount of land but while the taliban have maybe increased the amount of land that they control they actually control less people whenever the polygon move in their plan to leave and at the same time
afghanistan is becoming a more urbanized society so the taliban control less of the people in the end a war is about people so the taliban control less people now than they did four years ago but you asked what a change what's changed apparently is the role of pakistan the talks that are going on in doha right now are accompanied by a visit by pakistani premier imran khan to doha at the same time the u.s. special negotiator left pakistan the other day saying he expected more steps from pakistan david actually a u.s. central command meeting with general bhagwat today actually i have a depends on pakistan i actually have a quote i was i was going to mention that i'm glad she referenced it mr hill actually said and after he left pakistan we're heading in the right direction with more steps by pakistan coming that will lead to concrete results i think it is kind of pick up on that point in a minute bring you in on this is well and he has in a moment david how key is pakistan to this i think pakistan is vital. prime
minister imran khan has made discussions in the peace negotiations an important part of his platform from well before he was elected he is committed to this that there's been a lot of resistance to negotiations in the past from pakistani security forces whether prime minister kahn can rein those security forces in and get the taliban to the table is a challenge for him and i think we'll be seeing today in the next week or so whether he is able to successfully work with his security forces and get the column on to the table and have and start real talks into as i like your insight on that as well how important how key is pakistan to this. order the ready for. began his shuttle diplomacy from pakistan has been here several times and now the prime minister has all to flown to go ha is very much indicates the importance of pakistan for the entire process and this is what bugs than has been saying all
along that this side pakistan even iran is the second biggest strategic. stakeholder in the entire process and that bucket stan what i was to deliver it's pakistan has it has used and now i think the ultimate objective is to convince the taliban to give up while ns and also go on to talk to the kabul government because everybody recognizes the national unity government as the legitimate representative of afghanistan and i think this is desirable by everybody there if the entire talks basically culminate in direct or indirect negotiations between the taliban and the national unity government or i should also clarify what david said earlier the most of the winds in the last for two years has been largely carried out by diet or isis yes taliban have targeted the security establishment of understand this with
this i think they're just wanted to underscore that they do not want to inflict any pain on the common people however the casualties yes happen to be the of plans which is condemning bill which is very sad and i think everybody is extremely keen including the pakistani leadership for a while insurrection as it is out of the talks which should be approached it seems with with more greater degree of trust between pakistan and the united states as well as pakistan and the national unity government i think they missed mistrust right now remains basically the biggest enemy of any potential success in this round of talks and that's a great point and what your thoughts on that that there has to be trust between the parties involved to even move an extra. well. the lack of trust is probably the biggest obstacle in moving forward. no doubt again i agree with those
david and for certain still within their goal that pakistan it's an important that the recent steps are encouraging but at the same time because of the lack of trust there are enormous doubts whether these efforts are sincere will have to be seen as to how things unfold but at the same time i think we need to realize that to what extent pakistan can push things forward it can certainly prevent taliban from making peace but whether it can deliver taliban or deliver peace. that is debate among. the rest and relax and even. suppose the pressure that the taliban came under from pakistan to produce to to bring them to talks in islamabad in the refused or. encouraging
them to meet in saudi in taliban defused certainly questions the extent of. pakistan's full ability as we thought it was but no doubt it has significant influence and has no doubt is the most important country perhaps regionally for peace and stability in afghanistan it has the afghan government and marginalized it all in this process. there is certainly the risk of that the afghan government i think has made clear that that peace is not possible without the participation by the afghan government that's really been the case i think president and bessemer hala saad has also been clear that real talks real peace has to be between afghans and that is the goal of his talks with the columbine to get the column on the sit down with the afghan government right now the taliban are talking to all kinds of people in afghanistan and various so-called warlords various political leaders in afghanistan have had direct or indirect talks
with the columbine the only people that really remain to be brought into this overall process are the afghan government but at the same time afghanistan is going through a very vigorous political process this past week over ten candidates and their slates were registered for presidential elections later this year none of those slates actually supports the taleban so i think it's possible the taliban may face be feeling a little bit worried about being left out in the cold as this electoral process moves forward and into as you wrote an open letter to donald trump about all of this and one of the things that you wrote is if the taliban as i've said this i mean let me rephrase he said if the taliban choose to fight over peace talks the united states would support the afghan government that somehow is i what does that say to you. well i think that was not a smart move on the part of the methods particularly when he made that statement
shortly before leaving kabul after having talks with the national unity government leaders does because here been presenting himself as a peace broker but the last thing the peace broker could do is to deploy intimidation on one of the interlocutors and this is i think it went down very badly with the with the taliban also with the pakistani facilitators just because pakistan and put in a lot of effort in convincing the taliban just to give up the path of wine and then continue talking to the united states but then this intimidation sort of what this was seen as an intimidation by their methods are and it evoked also very harsh response from the taliban spokesperson who said that will leave the jews to fighters then we are here to fight and i think this basically was a very unsmart move just because time is not on the side of as an american it is our goal president trump whereas valid one would say that while we have been
fighting for seventeen years we could fight go on fighting for another five years so i think this is what i was talking about that mistrust possibly is the biggest and indeed i know the big elephant in the room and this is what all sides need to it was injecting into the talks by trying to trying to steer transparent in their in their talks with one another and omar somebody has to get something something for this to move event a little bit who is more likely to give something what are they willing to give for this not to just be another waste of time. of course peace has a car cost it will have a cost. to the afghan government to the afghan people. who are not taliban who do not wish to live under the taliban rule but it was so there has to be a cause for taliban as well they have to give up. on fighting to reach their end goal
if that is power they have to give up on a control complete control of power they have to give up on overthrowing the government one of our games and what about what about running man what about the sticking point is demanded there that their prisoners be released is that something even realistic that would be considered and what are those you know those are those are absolutely absolutely legitimate. talking items. and there is not a position either again from the u.s. envoy for peace or from the afghan government to the willing to discuss that in fact there are items that are way more important. now with the u.s. is open to discuss such as the status of its forces in afghanistan. and lastly. the recent talks in doha indicate. that
discussion of such important items has begun and i would call it a breakthrough and in that respect are not agreed that. the recent statements was that bigger deal i mean he is not a mediator he is u.s. government envoy and therefore he will be stating the position of the us government which is ok but if it is peace but if taliban continue to fight then the u.s. will continue to support the afghan government that's not a new statement in the will hearing from any other u.s. envoy as well and i did not affect taliban as well in this. engage in direct with her live today as in you have to do is in possibly two models discussion of what taliban will indicate david if u.s. troops draw down their well that have any effect on on all of this. well the u.s. one point well over one hundred thousand troops in afghanistan and drew down to
five thousand that did not mean that the taleban did not come to peace talks then so u.s. withdrawal of troops has been proven not to be the real object of the columbine what the collarbone want is to have the islamic emirate back in to rule afghanistan the way they did before that is really the crux of the matter however eighty percent of the taliban afghan people don't want the columbine so at this point what has to give is a college bongs insistence that they need to bring the islamic emirate back into power once they pull back from that and sit down and have negotiations peace can probably be pretty rapidly achieved in june of this year there was a three day ceasefire it was amazing that on both sides taliban and government the soldiers sat there sat down with each other and had the families who hadn't seen each other for years visited with each other there was rejoicing on both sides on the taliban side and the government side about peace that is what should be the
goal for everybody is that peace well let me just say one thing about ambassador hollis i've worked closely with him over the past fifteen years i would be very careful about underestimating him and if you think you are going to out maneuver him you have to be but you should be very careful before you criticize him thank you all right that will be the last word and gentlemen appreciate this conversation very much i'm sure we will. call on you to continue it at some point thank you omar zakhilwal antioch school and david said and thank you for watching you can see the program again any time get our web site al-jazeera dot com for the discussion go to our facebook page facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me richelle carey in the entire team here and i for now.
when on line i want to start here on my laptop with a tweet or if you join us on sat there was a rush of adrenaline when we felt this is the moment that we have been waiting for this is a dialogue the government has codebase i may go protest i will start to pull the students force to disperse the crowds everyone has a voice and for votes in lots of different reasons what's the difference types of bricks or join the global conversation on al-jazeera and hundred forty twelve on.
u.s. and british companies have announced the biggest discovery of natural gas in west africa but what to do with these untapped natural resources is already a source of heated debate nothing much has changed they still spend most of their days looking forward to for the dry river beds like this one five years on the syrians still feel battered or even those who managed to escape their country haven't truly been able to escape the war. if you were looking at this from the outside you would really wonder what was going all but what is this gross is a religion that they have an in-depth exploration of global capitalism and our obsession with economic drugs this is still the center of capitalism there is no limits i view myself as a capital artist we are trying to pay for the world smaller and smaller we don't want to base a realistic in the world we would rather have a fantasy growing on al-jazeera. in an ordinary week
to even atar at the hot aside to not the only functioning hospital in bunch town in north eastern side. so don and his steam operate on iran sixty patients the united nations refugee agency nominated him for the prestigious nansen award she won in recognition of his work and the incredibly difficult to constance's. south sudan has been in conflict since twenty thirteen the war has divided the country along ethnic lines two hundred thousand people most of them refugees from sudan's blue nile state even this remote town and looked to be a bad hospital for all their medical needs they were has destroyed almost the infrastructures which are. almost one way including my little sister living in the presence of who you know vicious all of the military working to the capacity that they're supposed to.
alarm the clock and the other top stories here on al-jazeera venezuela's president because with there are has ordered a revision of diplomatic relations with the u.s. that's a response to vice president might pose declaring support for opposition leader one groat of who's calling on venezuelans to protest on wednesday throws about as more . pots and pans being used to send a message of protest to the government of president the little meeting. the video was shot by protesters on monday night hours after twenty seven soldiers rebelled against the government they were later detained.