UPDATE 3/24/08: A River Runs Backward
Northern Alliance leader,
(whom Karzai unceremoniously removed from office as
foreign minister) , suddenly
showed up in the US out of nowhere after
a gap of nearly three years, meeting influential think-tankers and
American officials and leveling devastating criticism against Karzai's
leadership qualities as president.
The protagonists of the erstwhile Northern Alliance are coming out of the woodwork. But are they being encouraged to do so? Even though the presidential election is due only in end-2009, an element of uncertainty has gradually come to envelop the Afghan political landscape - the sort of haze that one associates with long sunsets.
Former Afghan Interior minister Ali Ahmad Jalali, who fell out with
Karzai, is also being lionized in Western capitals as a potential candidate in the presidential race.
The Independent newspaper of London reported on Monday that according
to Afghan intelligence sources, Britain has been talking to the
Taliban without the knowledge of the Karzai government and working on
a top-secret plan to train renegade Taliban fighters in a special camp
and set them against Mullah Omar's militia.
The training camp is to be set up outside Musa Qala in Helmand province. The Independent claims
unnamed British diplomats, the UN and other Western officials have
confirmed the outline of Britain's clandestine project. Apparently,
British agents have been paying the Taliban out of slush funds.
RECON: Reconstruction in Afghanistan
photographs are Afghanistan 2007
1. Jessica Simpson character (the movie bombed)
is in dire straights