Before we get to the crux of this story, it may be important to remember that President Joe Biden praised the Taliban as being “businesslike and professional.”
It was recently reported that these “professional businessmen” have promised to give plots of land to the families of the suicide bombers who attacked our United States soldiers.
Sirajuddin Haggani, a Taliban leader, spoke on Monday at a gathering in Afghanistan. He praised the sacrifices of “martyrs and fedayeen,” which is a reference to fighters killed in suicide attacks, according to the Associated Press.
The AP noted that “Haqqani called them ‘heroes of Islam and the country,’ according to [Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty]. At the end of the meeting, he distributed 10,000 afghanis ($112) per family and promised each a plot of land.”
This move is a contrast to the group’s efforts since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to gain global support. Leaders from the international community have asked the Taliban to match their promises with actions. High-profile Taliban meetings with foreign officials have focused on getting aid to impoverished Afghans as the U.N. predicts that the entire population will slide into poverty because of a severe economic crisis.
These families may get a double blessing because the Biden Administration reportedly agreed last week to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. This decision was likely driven by the worsening of conditions in the country as the Taliban continue their rule.
“The U.S. has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of an economic disaster while refusing to give political recognition to the country’s new Taliban rulers,” another Associated Press report stated. This information came at the end of the first direct talks between officials of both countries since the botched withdrawal that took place at the end of August.
Ned Price, a State Department Spokesman, indicated in a statement that the U.S. delegation “focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.”
The former enemies recently discussed significant provision of humanitarian assistance from the U.S. being given directly to the Afghan people. Apparently, the talks were both candid and professional. The delegation from the U.S. reiterated that the Taliban would be judged by their actions and not their words alone.
And these professional discussions came after the Taliban said last week that they would not work with the United States to combat ISIS-K. These are the terrorists who were responsible for murdering 13 U.S. soldiers during a suicide bombing in August.
It was Suhail Shaheen who told the Associated Press that there would be no cooperation with the Biden Administration on containing the very active Islamic State group in Afghanistan. It was ISIS-K that took responsibility for a number of recent attacks. They claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Friday that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens as they prayed in a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz. Shaheen said that his country could contain the Islamic State affiliate themselves without help from the U.S.
But the Taliban released thousands of terrorists from Bagram prison immediately after the U.S. handed over the area to them. This followed Democratic President Joe Biden’s chaotic pullout.
The promise of rewards for suicide bombings reveals conflicting approaches within the Taliban leadership. They want to position themselves as responsible rulers who promise security for all and have condemned suicide attacks by their rivals. But then, they praise such tactics when it comes to their followers.