Footage of the Taliban in Paradise: Al Jazeera

Thirteen members of Afghanistan’s parliament, an Afghan governor “and a variety of political parties and armed groups” have held the second in a series of meetings in the Maldives, according to news network Al Jazeera.

Press Secretary at the President’s Office, Mohamed Zuhair, on Thursday confirmed that the peace talks were taking place and all involved in the talks had valid passports and visas.

The Maldives is one of the few countries to provide Afghan nationals a visa on arrival.

“None of the representatives involved are listed in UN or other international travel blacklists,” Zuhair said, noting that the MNDF was aware of the meeting. The Al Jazeera report observed that US and NATO were not represented at the talks and that while it was interested the discussions, Afghan government had not officially endorsed them.

Al Jazeera’s report contained footage of the talks and of man the network said had arrived at the last minute “claiming to be a member of the Taliban.”

The representatives told Al Jazeera that their presence at the meeting, which the Maldivian media speculated was being held at Paradise Island Resort, was not official.

The event was organised by Almayoun Jarir, the son in law of former Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is one of the three key leaders of the armed opposition in Afghanistan.

Topics of discussion included the need for fresh elections, and the future of foreign troops in the country. The report noted that one of the Afghan MPs who attended was female.

Besides the ease of visa issuance, the Maldives was chosen as the venue for the three day talks “because it is considered neutral ground for all countries [involved]” Al Jazeera said. “It is also an example of what peace can bring to an islamic country.”


19 thoughts on “Footage of the Taliban in Paradise: Al Jazeera”

  1. OK, provided they've all got valid passports and are not blacklisted... let them have their peace talks in the country, but...

    - don't let them give a chance to meet vulnerable locals who they could brainwash and...

    - for God's sake, hide them from the resort guests!!! OMG what image is that for the Maldives!

  2. somebody tell which country doesn't get on arrival visa in this country ? there's no restriction or any seucrity in this place and nobody care's about this .. even a somalian can enter this country without any question .. !!! plus the backward untrained lack of sense of urgency in all departments in airport and ports makes our country one of the dumbest security in the globe ..which includes .. immigration, customs, MNDF, Police, airport security, the great example is the 10 most wanted guys who fled this country after the sultun park bombing, police in maldives are still waiting them to come back .. what a joke is this.. an no reporter even asks this question ..!!

  3. That last shot of Al-Jazeera video taping the shirtless Afghan in the water is soooo dodgy. I'm glad they're able to have talks here.

    As for the security issue, these individuals were not mingling with the Maldivian population, they were not spreading their ideology, they were not recruiting. They were respecting the laws of our nation and have every right to visit our country. We need to be open to all peoples.

  4. what a sight. Long bearded people barefoot and dipping in the sea. Kind of gives off a nice image, well as long as they were here for peace talks, we should welcome them. Love how the report ends.

  5. Anni is simply ripping this country apart. bt time he leaves Maldives will be the new Afghanistan. watch and see

  6. There is no shame in hosting peace talks, it doesn't give a bad image at all.

  7. Marina: I don't see the point of "hiding" them. They aren't wearing name tags and resorts always have people in all sorts of garb and they seemed civilized enough. It's not like they're walking around with an RPG strapped to their backs wearing an "I <3 Bin Laden" badge.

    Hub: What do you have against Somalians?

    I think another reason they probably came to the Maldives is so they could chill out at a nice resort. Probably chuckle a bit about the "paradise" title.

    I wonder how much progress is actually being made; how many more meetings are in the pipeline?

    Aren't Maldivian citizens entitled to know these things?

    If they feel so "safe" here, what made them feel so unsafe back in Afghanistan? Fear of attack? From who? The US? The government? Other insurgencies?

    If this were to become a regular thing, is there anyone making sure someone with bad intentions (to us, or to the people holding meetings) doesn't make it through customs?

    Or do we just continue the current policy of - "The Maldives, everyone's welcome by default!".

    It wouldn't take long for people to connect the dots and realize they aren't really safe from attack at all here. That some terrorist with a fake ID could just suddenly turn up and do what those cowards do best.

    Yes that is an extreme situation; but better we implement some sort of preventative security before something happens than after.

  8. @JEFREY Salim waheed. For the very first time you are able to tolerate. When we turn to the face book, it's evident you keep gossiping on Taliban and Zakir Naik. I wonder, what will be the effect upon making Islam and Dhivehi as a discretionary subject rather being a compulsory.

    This is the comment you posted on Sat, 30th Jan 2010 12:57 AM to Minivan News about the First Talk of Taliban.

    "I agree with “Moyameehaa” – that the Islamic Ministry is not tolerant of moderate forms of Islam and that they are only promoting extremely conservative views.
    However, hold up. This meeting did not take place with the consent of our government. None of us knew that this was actually going to happen. But allowing it to happen is not the worst thing – they are striving for peace. I wish there was a way for Afghanistan to succeed without making alliances with these people – but the fact is that even today the Taliban controls 1/3rd of the country. They are a political force the same way Adaalath and Jamiyathul Salaf is. And like Afghanistan we’re going to be forced to concede more to them if they continue to gain power.
    How long are we going to continue to wait while our nation changes around us?! Today, even that Course you take before getting married is all about telling potential brides to stay home. Not to do planned parenting. And emphasizing the supremacy of men in everything. Our society is slowly and steadily crumbling.
    If you’re outraged at Taliban being in our country, then come take action against those with Taliban-esq ideas in the Maldives. Maldives is not a traditionally conservative nation. We should stop importing Wahhabism and Salafism and eroding our culture."


  9. It is good if they can forget the promised paradise with 100 virgins and become normal people.

  10. Yeah, Akbar... they might realize that Paradise is on Earth, they might throw their weapons, settle down in Maldives, shave their beards and become "normal", that's what I call "Rehabilitation Maldives"!!!

  11. it is so stupid to create that Muppet Show in tourist resort in Maldives. best place to talk with taliban is Guantanamo Bay or Dhunidhoo prison.hehehe
    or do you think that it is real peace talks?no way my friends! it is only about who controlling money and drugs plantation in Afganistan.heheh
    and it is so ugly image for tourist who will visit Maldives.
    A big,big shame.

  12. Excellent. Let us hope these steps will lead to bigger and better things in future - beard, veil, thaakihaa, mundu, dhivehi libaas, mini skirts, whatever, we are all humans and should work towards living together and in peace. As a Maldivian, I am very proud that we are able to offer such an environment to others - Insha Allah we the Dhivehin will learn to tolerate and respect diversity and coexist in relative harmony amongst ourselves too.

  13. Being seen as a place where mortal enemies can have peace talks is a good thing. That also makes the place less likely to be attacked than more. As long as these people cannot meet with the locals and is done with the knowledge of the government and are acceptable meetings by other countries, it can only be a good thing.

  14. I am proud Maldives can be a place for peace talks between conflicting parties. Afghanistan is a Muslim country that deserves peace and harmony. If we can facilitate an environment that promotes this then we should welcome them. As long as they stick to their business,do not have an international warranty issued for their arrest and do not break any law they should be allowed to enter the country.

  15. Press Secretary- Please be more transparent.
    1) During last meeting Hekmatyar was in Maldives, this time his son. Following I quote from Al Zazeera.


    "Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who was the country’s prime minister from 1993-1994, and is considered by the US to be one of the three main leaders of the Afghan insurgency. He was a key figure in the insurgency against Soviet occupation, reportedly receiving millions in CIA funding, but is now labelled as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ by the US."
    2) Having valid passport and social entry pass thru immigration doesnt entitle a person to hold these sort of organized conferences. For such meetings atleast must have govt pre-aproval.

    I am very much sure immigration rules does define details of social visit and a bussiness or other visit.

    I dont think anyone of us should deny any form a peace talk in Maldives we all do welcome but Govt cannot simply close one eye & these sort of sensitive talks must be monitored and accounted for the safety of our national security.

  16. Hope they bring a big shipment of Afghan brown sugar for all the kiddies in Maldives.


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