(Left to right) Former Taliban officials Maulvi Mohamed Nabi Umari, Mullah

Abdul Haq Waseeq, Mullah Noorulallah Noori, Mullah Mohamed Fazil Akhund

and Mullah Khairullah Khairkhuwa, exchanged for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.



Mullah Omar Lauds U.S. Release of 'Brave, Important' Taliban Leaders (Gulf Times, UAE)


"This great success is an indication of the good news that independence for our entire country is near, and gives us hope that Inshallah - the Afghan mujahedeen will bring the Afghan people's ship of high hopes nearer to the shore."


-- Taliban Leader Mullah Omar


By Salman Siddiqui


July 7, 2014


UAE - Gulf Times - Original Article (English)

President Obama, at a press conference with Poland Presidnet Komorowski, explains that in the United States, we leave no sodier behind - 'period.'

BBC NEWS VIDEO, U.K.: Chuck Hagel on Ukraine, Afghanistan and Bergdahl, June 6, 00:13:21RealVideo

"No one from the Taliban political office in Doha was part of the Qatar delegation that went to Guantanamo Bay to receive the five leaders freed on May 31 in exchange for a U.S. soldier who was held captive," a senior Afghan Taliban source told Gulf Times yesterday.


"The United States freed five 'brave and important' Taliban leaders in exchange for their one low ranking soldier," he stressed.


In a landmark prisoner exchange between the United States and the Afghan Taliban, five Taliban leaders, who had been detained for 13 years, were handed over to a delegation from Qatar. At precisely the same time, American soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive by the Taliban since June 2009, was handed over to a U.S. Special Forces team in Khost, Afghanistan.


In terms of the delegation to whom the Americans handed over the five, the Taliban source said: "Right now, I can only confirm that there was no one in the delegation from our side."


Members of the Taliban political office only met their freed comrades when they reached Doha.


The Taliban have said that the five men who have been released were "brave and important leaders" of their movement who had experienced the battlefield, and previously held high-ranking positions.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


The Taliban confirmed that Mullah Mohamed Fazil Akhund was the Islamic Emirateís Chief of Army Staff; Mullah Noorulallah Noori was head of the North zone and governor of Balkh in Afghanistan; Mullah Khairullah Khairkhuwa was interior minister and later head of the western zone and Herat governor; Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq was deputy chief of Taliban intelligence; and Maulvi Mohamed Nabi Umari was described only as a Frontier Corps Commander who had done important work for the movement.


Moreover, in a "commentary" released yesterday, the Taliban said that the release of the five important leaders was "good news" for the "independence" of Afghanistan. It quoted their chief, Mullah Omar, as saying that "this great success is an indication of the good news that independence for our entire country is near, and gives us hope that Inshallah - the Afghan mujahedeen will bring the Afghan people's ship of high hopes nearer to the shore."

Posted By Worldmeets.US

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All the five released Taliban officials are now living in Qatar and spending most of their time "resting," after 13 years at the dreaded Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Documents leaked by WikiLeaks about these five Taliban members also confirm that they were high-ranking officials. About Mullah Mohamed Fazil, Joint Task Force Guantanamo said that he was the Taliban's Deputy Minister of Defense during Operation Enduring Freedom. He served as chief of staff of the Taliban army and commander of the 22nd division. He was accused of possible war crimes, including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.


About Mullah Noorulallah Noori, it said he was a senior Taliban military commander in Mazar-e-Sharif during hostilities against U.S. and coalition forces in late 2001. He was also Taliban governor for Balkh and Laghman provinces. He, too, was accused of possible war crimes, including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.


Mullah Khairullah Khairkhuwa was described as a senior Taliban official serving as the minister of interior, governor of Herat, and a military commander. He was linked with Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was is alleged to be a narcotics trafficker.


Abdul Haq Waseeq was Taliban deputy minister of intelligence. He was said to be central to the Talibanís efforts to form alliances with other groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and coalition forces after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was accused of utilizing his office to support al-Qaeda and assisting Taliban personnel elude capture.


Maulvi Mohamed Nabi Umari was alleged not only a Taliban official, but considered close to al-Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.


Outlook Afghanistan, Afghanistan: Obama Mimics Karzai Strategy of Freeing Taliban
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Afghanistan Times, Afghanistan: Karzai is Right - the Taliban are in the Service of U.S.
Asia Times, Hong Kong: Karzai's Curious Counterblast
Die Zeit, Germany: Unwarranted Pessimism Over Leaving Afghanistan
The Nation, Pakistan: U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan: 'Please Don't Wait Until 2014!'
FTD, Germany: The Beginning of the End for the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan
The Nation, Pakistan: U.S.-Afghan-Taliban Talks Must Benefit Pakistan, Not India
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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 7, 2014 8:39pm










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