Paradise hosts third round of Taliban peace talks

The Maldives last week hosted a third round of peace talks between the Afghan government and members of Taliban-linked resistance group led by ex-Mujahideen Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the three key leaders of the armed opposition in Afghanistan.

Paradise’s manager Qaisar Naseem confirmed to Minivan News that the third meeting, “of 50 or so people”, was held at the resort around November 9.

“It was independently organised and involved some people from Afghanistan, but they were not [identified] as Taliban. There were people from the [Afghan] government as well,” he said. “They brought the media with them.”

The delegates caused no problems and were “very decent, very friendly, and talked to the other guests,” he said.

In a press conference today prior to his departure to Sri Lanka, President Mohamed Nasheed said the government was “aware of these conferences” but had no involvement.

“We do not at all feel that they bring a security risk. The security services of this country – police and other intelligence services – have a very good grip on who is doing what,” Nasheed said.

“Our position is that anyone wishing to have a conversation or bridge a gap to resolve a conflict is always very welcome in the Maldives.”

However, in the event of future talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, it is likely the gates of Paradise will remain closed.

Naseem said that while hosting the conference itself was harmless, the resort was “fully dependent” on European visitors, and management was acutely aware that the meetings could have a “negative impact” on guest perception.

“There’s no problems actually holding these events, but it does have an adverse effect on perception,” he explained. “To be honest, we’re not going to do it again.”

President of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), Mohamed Ibrahim ‘Sim’, told Minivan News that he had not had heard of any adverse reaction to the meetings from tour operators or the wider travel market.

“I don’t understand why there should be an impact [on perception],” he said. “The fact we are providing a safe haven for people with a peaceful agenda to come and discuss issues across a table does not detract from the image of the country.

“Some of these leaders are seen as terrorists and warlords, and the fact they are coming to the meeting emphasises the safety of the destination,” Sim said.

“We are a tourist destination and we don’t want to dragged into global geopolitics and the animosity between nations. We don’t want to antagonise anybody – that’s how a small and defenceless nation like the Maldives has been able to survive, and will hopefully continue to do so.”


Central Asia Online reported that during the five day conference delegates proposed to form a supreme shura (‘consultation’), the Shura-e-Aali Amniyat-e-Milli, under which representatives from Afghanistan’s political, ethnic and warring groups would review “all major government policies before they are introduced before the parliament.”

“Policies would have to be passed with a two-thirds majority of the shura to be passed on to parliament or be implemented,” the US government-sponsored news site reported.

Taking on an almost parliamentary function, the shura would also approve ministerial, judicial, and independent commission appointments, the site reported. In the meantime, a ‘peace commission’ would be created to broker a ceasefire between the government and insurgent groups. A communique on the final day also called for the “immediate withdrawal” of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

The meeting was the third in a series of gatherings held this year in the Maldives, and the second to be held at Paradise Resort.

The first, under a veneer of secrecy, was held at Bandos Island Resort and Spa in January at the same time as the US, Britian and Japan spearheaded a proposal to ‘bribe’ Taliban fighters to disarm.

State Minister for Defence, Mohamed Muiz Adnan, told Minivan News at the time that he was not aware of the group’s arrival until he “saw it in the newspaper”, and had no knowledge of the meeting.

The second event in May – held at Paradise – was more widely publicised, and filmed by television news network Al-Jazeera. It was organised by Almayoun Jarir, Hekmatyar’s son-in-law.

Image taken during May meeting at Paradise Island Resort and Spa.


17 thoughts on “Paradise hosts third round of Taliban peace talks”

  1. Nasty thaliban..plz go back to ur hellhole, we dont need to negotiations with terrorists..only the terrorist government of Anni would try to negotiate with terrorists..i suggest Guantanamo bay as the next venue for talks.

  2. What the hell is this Paradise manager Qaisar Naseem bozo talking about, Bringing peace to Afghanistan, that is creating so much trouble to his so called customers of his crap resort will have a negative impact.

    Well if these peace talks succeed, you will have much better promotion than going to some world fair to advertise you horrible products.

    The statement in this article will have more negative impact.

    Mr. Naseem, don't you want your brothers in Afghanistan to have peace. What kind of Muslim are you, sound like you are a muslim only by name.

  3. The first group numbered around 14. They went back and the next group was about 40. The Third group was 60. There's a small market development here. Why? Well, the first group went back and told their brothers " These Americans are the limit. The Coca Cola they sell us here are watered down. In Maldives they have the real thing. You have to drink it to believe it. And they have these rooms called spas. They do things to your body, honestly, one would begin wondering that there's no need for all these wives. And there was a whole chorus of "the real thing", and "no need for wives", and what is the upshot? More and more rugged warriors wanting to lech it up in Mahaldib. There will come the operator who will soon start on the "Jannat Tours" theme, and a guest can marry four multiracial wives on arrival and divorce them at departure. Most resorts will need only a couple more clerks. That will be the day.. Cheer up Majeed Baaree, they just held the "Miss throw off the burugaa France", at your brothers' resort from which at least you would make some inheritance. You can laugh all the way to the bank heh heh..

  4. Sim does not always talk sensibly but this time he did. Pity the small minded managers at Paradise Resort. Buruma seems to thrive with half wits like them.

  5. @a.hisam whats your problurm bro. insulted? feels like jihading? you think media should YOU get the hell out of maldives. there is no place for intolerance and hate here. go go go!

  6. English is foreign to me but not for the the author of this article. What does "The Maldives last week hosted ......." imply? Did the country host the meeting.

  7. Why not you post this news ... chidren are raped in most developed & most peacful countries but its not hapening in Maldives like this.

    A 13-year-old girl has been raped in Berkshire by a man who gave her a lift in his car.

    The girl was walking in Northumberland Avenue in Reading on Tuesday when she got into the small black car, before being driven to Tilehurst.

    She was then raped by the man in the vehicle at a "small car park" in an unknown location, police said.

    The man is described by officers as black, aged 18 to 19 years old and of slim build.

    Police are appealing for witnesses.

    Det Insp Nick Watts said: "I would like to speak to anyone who saw the car between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, or anyone who may know who is responsible for the rape.

    "This was a horrific experience for the girl, and we need to ensure that we find this man as quickly as possible."

  8. Someone should assist even if foes are trying to bridge the difference. How cheap and easy would that be if we can settle differences by talking...people like NArs (who commented first) proved to be MOON lickers.

  9. Some of us has become Islamophobic while others have become Islamistic. Both, I believe are at the different ends. We Maldivians should learn from the Taliban and start our own peace talks, between the -ophobic and the -istic.

  10. Minivan News is truely a propaganda machine of big brother (USA) and dances to its music! I wonder how many believe today in Janaaza kude Dr Shaheed or most corrupt Keerafa Naseem and their cronies in foreign ministry! nor we believe in a hijacked state called USA that fought a bloody war in Vietnam and bombed its own military officers facility to find a pretext for US heavy bomdardment or in human acts in that war and also continue to do in all parts of the globe! YOU SERIOUSLY THINK TALIBAN WOULD COME TO MALDIVES FOR PEACE TALKS? GUYS YOU ARE NUTS!!

  11. Hi there,

    Who told you guys that Hekmatyar is Taliban? This guy was throwing the heavy stuff at Kabul while Ahmed Shah Masood was the Defense Minister and Rabbani, the President. 'Typically Stalinist' - a journalist's comment on what the guy did to Kabul. This was before the Taliban led by Mullah Omar emerged on the scene. Pls get your facts right.


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