Maldives hosts secret Taliban talks

A group of Afghan MPs, “a government official” and seven people linked to the Taliban met in the Maldives last weekend for secret talks, according to a report by Al Jazeera in Afghanistan.

According to the report, the talks were part of an ambitious plan to bring peace to the war-torn country by offering cash, jobs and incentives to Taliban fighters in exchange for laying down their arms.

Afghan parliament member Ubaid Ullah Achackzat, one of the MPs who reportedly visited the Maldives last week, told Al Jazeera the meeting was an effort “to find a third way, a way for the foreigners to leave [Afghanistan], with the possibility of merging the Taliban with the government and the possibility of a cease fire – there are lots of issues.”

Seven of the men were reportedly part of an armed opposition group linked to the Taliban and held in high respect by the Taliban’s leadership, Achackzat said.

The Al Jazeera report claimed the Taliban selected the Maldives as the venue for the meeting “because it was the only place the fighters felt safe.”

“I believe that is a compliment to the Maldivian government and our pluralist policies,” said the president’s press secretary, Mohamed Zuhair, adding that he did not feel the comment would negatively affect international perception of the Maldives.

“Our government has a policy to include followers of all sects of Islam,” he said.

“For years other versions of Islam have been stifled [in the Maldives]. The president has said democracy is the best answer to keep fundamentalists at check.”

Assistant controller of Immigration Ibrahim Ashraf expressed a different opinion.

“If this so-called group of Afghans had a link to the Taliban, that is in no way safe for the Maldives,” he said.

“If people from internationally recognised groups such as the Taliban or other institutions keep coming to the Maldives, that is quite dangerous.”

Zuhair acknowledged that the government had received reports of sightings of “a group of people who look like the Taliban wandering around the streets of Male’.”

“Our stance is that the fact people happen to look like the Taliban doesn’t mean they should be labelled that way,” he said.

He admitted the government had noted the arrival of “a group of 20 people from Afghanistan” who were “quite quite closely monitored by the concerned authorities.”

“They apparently conducted a meeting amongst themselves,” he said, emphasising that the group had not associated with any group in the Maldives.

Ashraf confirmed the government had received some information about the group, but would not say whether this came from inside or outside the country.

“We do have a watch list and a very good system in place,” he said. “Those who are flagged would not be allowed into the country.”

He would not say whether the visitors were flagged.

“A lot of people come to Maldives and nobody needs a visa, whether they are Afghan or Israeli,” he said. “To my knowledge, they have now left [the country].”

State Minister for Defence Mohamed Muiz Adnan said he was not aware of the group’s arrival until he “saw it in the newspaper” and had no knowledge of the meeting that apparently took place.

Regarding the Taliban fighters considering the Maldives to be ‘safe’, Muiz commented that “irrespective of who says it, anywhere in the world a safe environment is good for everybody.”

An international conference on the Afghanisatan’s future is currently being held in London. Al Jazeera reports that Japan, the United States and Britain are rumoured to be spearheading a proposal to ‘bribe’ Taliban fighters to disarm and turn over to the government’s side.

Japan is said to be providing most of the money, thought to be between US$500 million and US$1 billion over the next five years, a far cheaper option than the annual $30 billion currently being spent by the US on its military ‘push’.


32 thoughts on “Maldives hosts secret Taliban talks”

  1. I think the kind of safe they're referring to is "haha the defense forces won't even have a clue we're here!" kind of safe.

    I don't see how that can be a good thing for us Maldivians in general. Luckily nothing happened this time, but it sounds like if anyone wanted to attack us, it'd be easier said than done. I doubt this will lead to better measures, just some press talk for a few weeks after which the issue will be forgotten. Much like everything else.

  2. "Our government has a policy to include followers of all sects of Islam"

    seriously, wtf!? the only sect promoted,and allowed in maldives today is wahhabism and offshoots of this sect. we were that tolerant people who wouldnt care about sects much...but not anymore. the ruling MDP government made an alliance with the wahhabi adhaalath party who declares muslims belonging to other sects of islam as "heretics" or "apostates".

    and muiz didnt have a clue? i suppose this was a matter related to national security...why would he NOT have a clue about this?!

    with the recent news about maldivians fighting in afghanistan, pakistan and iraq....this will further damage the imgae of maldives as a tolerant peaceful nation. president nasheed's alliance with the west could not always benefit us. so the brits and americans are fracked an wanna get out of that mess... leaving afghanistan in the hands of taliban and other fundamentalist groups that does not respect human rights. and they are USING us to get there. they wouldnt care if we benefit from that or not. they have a plan to protect their homelands. so should we.

    first he ask burmese journalist to seek asylum here...while maldivian press is not very free. then there was the carbon neutral thing and the gitmo prisoners. now this?! we did not elect him as a global president. he is our servant, our president.dont forget that mr.president.

  3. Did CIA knew this was happening? Was there a risk of drone attack? It would be one thing if Maldives secretly hosted such a meeting, but something completely different if terrorists thought Maldives was the easiest to come in and out without anyone noticing them. That raises an important question. Have they been "holidaying" here in the past?

  4. There is nothing good about hosting a terrorist group like Taliban except to advertise that we are the first 100 percent Taliban friendly country in the world. This is like announcing carbon neutrality.

    Soon western tourists would stop coming.

  5. WTF comment about the Maldives being 'pluralist' and 'tolerating of other sects of Islam' aside... what is the taliban doing in our country again?

    Since when did we become as a conference location for terrorists?

    The government of the day has done enough to promote radical Islam without hosting secret meetings between international terrorists and others, for whatever reason.

  6. WTF, just because Maldives is a safe place, all terrorists should be invited to Maldives? Yes, Taliban's are ****ing terrorists. Bloody hell, they must be looking for a corridor to smuggle out their drugs.

    sssshhhh, dont tell them, well bombs dont go off in our country every 15 minuted, but ....hehe

  7. ...the government had received reports of sightings of “a group of people who look like the Taliban wandering around the streets of Male’.”...

    doesnt this mean the government had no idea when these talibans entered the maldives? and the state minister for defence learned this from a newspaper?

    ...“Our stance is that the fact people happen to look like the Taliban doesn’t mean they should be labelled that way,” ...

    doesnt this mean even when they sighted these people, the president's offive was hesitant to believe they were really talibans?

    my suggestion to the government is; hire an al jazeera journalist to investigate if we already have mullah umar or any other internationally wanted terrorist happily camping in the maldives.

  8. "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIEEEEE!!!" --quote by Ali Nadeem from Mind Your Language (yes irrelevant) but VERY much the first thing that ran through my head.

    Thank You..

  9. We just have to fight the rising political islam fundamentalism in Maldives.

  10. I look into a dark future of the "moderate" Maldives (which it is not anymore anyway!) if such things are going on... soon our only income will be fishing again... until fish stocks decrease... and then... ??? who knows

  11. Retarded Zuhair, must have been stoned when he made that comment.

    "Safe place"????? Hani you are right, the kind of safe they meant was that, the armed forces are incompetent and they have members of taliban who work in the current government - the Adhaalath Party.

    I won't be surprised that Mr Majeed invited these terrorists here in the first place.

    "...All sects of Islam.."??? - So terrorism is a sect of Islam now???!!

  12. I believe the heading is wrong. it should have read "Taliban hosts secret talks in the Maldives" I believe J.J. Robinson had a reason to make if feel that it was hosted by the Maldives.

  13. yes f...king taliban try to manage way to sell more drugs to Maldives and connect to wahhabith for new dirty ideas against peaceful people around the be ready for drone action in future.for dollars present maldivian gouvernment can sell every

  14. relatives of prabha karan was also in maldives recently. read about it some srilankan newspaper. and all that cannabis stashed in some reef during gayoom's rule...and the floating hakuru bullets? there are rumors of tamil tigers using this place for weapons and money tranfer during the srilankan civil war...the main function of the islamic also terrorist cells in maldives is to help in money transfer and communications....all this tells us one thing....maldives is a place for drug dealers, terrorists, arms dealers...this is like a port for em. no wonder the ruling bunch always make some extra money!

  15. Maldives "A Sunny Side of Life" is now replaced with "A Safe Place for Terrorist Groups". Hooray!

    Really, there is a limit to tolerance. And I think a government and country such as ours should be careful who they make friends with: A group that believes killing innocent people and advocates hatred, violence, and repressive ideals among its followers - i.e. the Taliban is one to be left out of our playground.

    Fair enough the Afgan government is trying to find a peaceful way to integrate and disarm the Taliban...but really, should our government compromise our reputation and security for this purpose? What do we get in return??

    ANNI - What have you got to say about this?

  16. democracy only came to Islamic extremists.
    when the government allows different sects of Islams why cant they allow other religions? what difference does it make? these sects even if they all call themselves Islams, they all are as different as other religions.
    we ll see how safe this place will be after a few years.

  17. Wasnt that about reconciliation of Taliban and Afgan Govt forces? I see this very differently. I think this is a noble thing allowing such meetings take place in the Maldives. It shows that we dont just support peace around the world but also practically engage in these situation and help out where ever we can.

    I think this would rather, elevate the status and reputation of the country.

  18. Hilmy..i feel you are right. Robinson seems to be a journalist who likes sensational headlines.

    But still, the government should have not commented at is this.

    This sends a very very wrong message.

  19. mm: I think it would be noble for you to become a test suicide bomber. at least i would happy that one bastard wont harm anymore.

  20. 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.

  21. Cant agree more with Salim. The Taliban like minded people among us are far more dangerous to our country than any threat posed to the Maldives by the Taliban of Afghanistan

  22. yes Salim, but isnt it worrying enough that the Government DIDNT KNOW about this??? There's simply no defense or justification in NOT knowing... the problem is not that they had a peace talk, which could perhaps turn out to be great, if they ever agree to let down the arms... the problem is the GOVERNMENT DIDNT KNOW... what does that say about the security of our country?

  23. I don’t think Taliban should have been allowed to host that meeting no matter what people say, regardless of what. Nowhere in the world would Taliban have been allowed to enter because it’s a listed terrorist organisation. So even the moderate Maldivians believers, who think that Taliban had the meeting for peace is wrong. Taliban could strive for peace just by laying down arms and being open for peace discussions. I am sure the international community and the rest of the world would welcome it. It’s the Tamil tigers recently and now Taliban. So we are being open to invite all the terrorist organisations to hold peace talks in Maldives. Islamic ministry and the Government are unable to deal with political rising Fundamentalism. Islamic ministry has been promoting their fundamentalist views, promoting extremism through their political party and working alongside other extremist groups like Salaf. Who is saying anything? Why are people so scared to fight against extremism? If anybody comes out, they are questioned about their knowledge of Islam. Is Taliban paying money to these hardcore Extremists to build a strong political society so that they can invade and take over Maldives like Osama did in Afghanistan? What happens then? Would we love it or wait until then, surely because we want to be a 200% Muslim country?

  24. wooaah Salim, what is the strategy here? make peace with Al-Qaeda led Taleban? talk sense man, 1/3 of Afghanistan is controlled by these terrorits who would never laid down there arms, who would never give up their extreme beleif, who the f***ing hell is going to convince them? somebody coming from up? the messiah?

  25. Maldives is a paradise of Drug traficking...Child Abuse (Both Maldivian, Arab prince's and Russians)and all sort of terrorist (both USA, UK, Tamil tigers and Afgan). So whats new? Gayoom did it..and so would others to follow. All these rulers are worried is to consolidate their power..and nothing else is worring! Look at some child abusers and alcohol drinkers of both Gayoom and Nasheed regime inner circle (cabinet and other major players)..and both knows it personally..(mind you the consitution as of today clasify it as a major crime)..but both these rulers simply ignore it conviently! May we have rulers who are just and kind to citizens and who abide by rules and consitution of Maldives

  26. Maldives hosts secret taliban talks" i think as others have expressed Heading seems clever, hip hip hooray JJ robinson, you got the coverage you wanted. Pls dont portay a wrong image of our country to the international community, what intest,love,loyality or honesty would brit have for our country, you would only think of your self. Maldives is the only country in this dame world which any one , can visit with out a visa, its a peacful paradise, We never saw guns, we love peace, so what harm would we have if a group of people visits our beautuful country and talk, i am sure the beaches will reduce a lot of stress than the hot dusty irony mountains. So JJ dont spoil our image just to sell a newspaper. it took a lot of effort and hard work to build this.

  27. Personally, I don't think the answer to terrorism or extremism is to ostracise those who get into those activities. Terrorism is not acceptable, but as with many other issues, it usually is the effect of some other cause. After all, each and every single person who commits these acts is a human being, and human beings have similar needs at a broad level. Ostracising those who get caught up in such things is something like shooting the messenger, or shutting a crying baby up somewhere where it cannot be heard - what about the message that is being carried? The way I see it, the message in most cases is "Help!". We have to try to understand what the message is, find out what it is that is lacking in their lives that they are driven to this course of action, and attempt to fulfil those needs through various mechanisms.

  28. Is this a turning point for taliban to creative they most notational peace talk in Maldives ???

  29. I would like to know... what are WE doing against the pakistanization of our country? What are we saying against the extremist Salafis, the Adhaalath? Do we feel shy to say anything against one of the beardo? Why do we conduct political demonstrations, but no demos against the islamic extremists who are trying everything to abolish our culture?

  30. So did these "glorious" Taliban bring in some brown sugar heroin for the youth of the Maldives to get addicted to? yeah some heroes.


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