Taliban Need to Save Face

In recent days, there is not much word about the remaining Korean hostages in Taliban hands. The Afghan Government has refused to exchange terrorists in prison for the hostages, bravo on that one. Unlike the Italian reporter that was exchange, which gave the Taliban the reason to continue hostage taking.

The Korean Times nails this one on the head.

Finding the Afghan government a hard nut to crack this time _ partly under pressure from its main backer the United States; and partly due to internal pressure _ the Taliban are now searching different means to enter into some sort of deal with the Afghan government or the Korean delegation over the hostages, of whom two have already been coldheartedly executed with the fate of the rest still hanging in balance.

The recent example is the Taliban offer of the exchange of women prisoners for the release of female hostages. The fact is that Taliban have no female members in their ranks; neither are there women prisoners in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, during in a chat with this scribe, admitted that they had no female Taliban member and hence none of their women are in American detention facilities in Afghanistan

At the same time, the society is also showing reaction due to the continued captivity of the female Koreans. The two rallies in Ghazni and Kandahar provinces in support for the release of the women hostages were examples of that reaction which might spread if the hostage crisis is prolonged. 
 

Unfortunately for the hostages, they are still being held captive, but image how many more people would be taken hostage in the future, if the Afghan government gave into the kidnappers demands. This is why the US does not deal in hostage negotiations. There should never be hostage negotiations as it emboldens the kidnappers and inspires others to carry out such radical measures.

Now the Taliban has stopped threatening to kill the rest of the hostages, but is desperately struggling to save face in the circle of terrorism. If they just release the hostages, they will be shamed. If they kill the female hostages they will be ostracised by the locals. What a pickle they have developed for themselves.

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