Taliban admits to killing tourists in Pakistan; is group really ready to help govern Afghanistan?

Taliban admits to killing tourists in Pakistan; is group really ready to help govern Afghanistan?

Islamabad : Pakistan | Jun 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM PDT
Views: Pending

Sunday's brutal massacre of 10 people visiting one of the world's tallest mountains in Pakistan raises some serious questions for US officials seeking to involve the Taliban in negotiations over the future of neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Saturday night massacre of nine tourists and one Pakistani at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest mountain, according to the Associated Press.

The bodies were discovered Sunday, the AP said.

Doesn't this sound like the same Taliban that ruled Afghanistan for five years and brutalized the country before being driven out by US forces after the Sept. 11 attacks?

So why would the US seriously consider including the group in talks over Afghanistan's future?

If Afghanistan's US-backed government headed by Hamid Karzai is not able to maintain control after US troops leave next year, why is that still the US plan?

Yet that's apparently why the Taliban were permitted to open an office in Qatar that was nearly immediately embroiled in controversy.

US President Barak Obama has welcomed the Taliban to negotiations over Karzai's objections.

In fact, Karzai broke off talks on extending the US presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 in anger over the move.

Saturday's attack killed five Ukrainians, two Chinese, one American and one Russian, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the AP.

The slain Pakistani was one of the tourist group's two guides.

One Chinese tourist was wounded in the attack and was rescued, Khan said.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman said the attack was retaliation for the slaying of its deputy leader by a US drone attack last month.

"By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks," Ahsanullah Ahsan told the AP by telephone.

Really? There's a reason?

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Taliban Doha
The Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, is shown on June 18. Credit: Reuters/Mohammed Dabbous
Nathan Salant is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • 										The Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, is shown on June 18.				Credit: Reuters/Mohammed Dabbous				 

    Taliban Doha

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