Taliban leaders, who continue their war against the Afghan government and the United States-led coalition forces in their quest to regain political power and restore their own brand of Sharia law, on Tuesday hailed and applauded President Hamid Karzai calling him a strong leader for his delay in signing a pact with the United States dubbed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), according to a Taliban statement circulated to news organizations in the region.
"Karzai and the Taliban appear to be making with the sweet talk while U.S. soldiers and Marines are being killed by these Islamists and even by their supposed partners in the Afghan military and police forces," according to Donald Gautier, a former counterterrorism task force member.
Karzai has repeatedly stated that the BSA won't be signed until after the presidential election next April unless the U.S. and coalition nations can bring peace to Afghanistan, ensure honest elections and support for the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Taliban Islamists in their statement sent to the news media claimed that it is "the presence of foreign forces" in Afghanistan that's the primary cause of warfare in Afghanistan. The Taliban also demanded the total withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from that beleaguered Muslim nation.
But the majority of Afghans in a four-day grand assembly of the elders and notables which was attended by 2,500 people from across the country and concluded on Nov. 27, 2013, wholeheartedly endorsed the BSA with the United States and told Karzai he should sign the pact before the end of December.
On Sunday, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff promised Karzai that Afghan negotiators will be permitted to meet face-to-face with the top Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Bharadar.
Prime Minister Shariff noted the release of a senior Taliban Islamist proves that Pakistan wished to assist in bring a lasting peace to the Afghan people. He said that Pakistan will help facilitate Afghan-Taliban peace as much as possible.