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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
10KABUL542 2010-02-13 07:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kabul
Cable title:  

REGIONAL COMMAND EAST -- TALIBAN REINTEGRATION IN

Tags:   PGOV PREL MOPS UK AF 
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VZCZCXRO3594
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0542/01 0440728
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130728Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5557
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000542 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM, INR/B
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/02/2030
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS UK AF
SUBJECT: REGIONAL COMMAND EAST -- TALIBAN REINTEGRATION IN
WARDAK -- SMALL OPENING IN TANGI VALLEY

REF: KABUL 337

KABUL 00000542 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Interagency Provincial Affairs Acting Coordinator Hoyt Y
ee for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d);
REL US, ISAF, NATO



1. (C/REL NATO) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: With the express
purpose of establishing acceptable dispute mechanisms and
connecting the Seyadabad District government to the people of
the extremely volatile Tangi Valley in Wardak Province,
acting District Sub-Governor (DSG) Hajji Niematullah convened
a surprisingly productive shura of 77 elders in his native
Tangi valley in early January. Seyadabad is one of four
Regional Command-East (RC-East) focus pilot districts and
among the first tranche of ISAF Joint Command,s (IJC) key
terrain districts. As such, the event represents a small,
but significant opening similar to other GIRoA-led grassroots
reintegration developments taking place elsewhere in the more
restive regions eastern Afghanistan. Niematullah reportedly
enjoys increasing support among Wardak-based Afghan National
Security Forces (ANSF) and the Coalition, as well as Governor
Mohammad Halin Fidai. Fidai, who strongly endorses
agricultural and educational development as a means of
hindering the growth of the insurgency, is considering
extending Niematullah,s tenure based on his effectiveness in
this critical district. End summary and comment.

TALIBAN REINTEGRATION IN WARDAK -- SMALL OPENING IN SEYADABAD


--------------------------



--------------------------




2. (C/REL NATO) Although the Coalition Forces (CF)
facilitated various details of the shura and provided some
additional transportation assets, security, and of course the
return of the detainee, the shura was a district government
event with most security provided by the ANSF. The central
government was not involved in this locally-generated event.
Acting Seyadabad
Sub-Governor Hajji Niematullah personally greeted each of the
participating 77 elders representing residents of the
volatile Tangi Valley, a well-known area of Wardak Province
marked by particularly virulent insurgent violence that has
frustrated GIRoA and Coalition overtures for years.
Niematullah drew on the Quran in presenting the case for
laying down arms, cooperation with GIRoA, and reintegration
into Afghan civil society. He encouraged the Afghans to
bring him their disputes, petitions for community-based
development projects, and urgent pleas for humanitarian
relief ) as a native son of the Tangi Valley from a poor
farming family, he proclaimed, he would work to address the
people,s needs with the support of the Afghan government and
international community. In an effort to demonstrate his
good faith intentions, Niematullah released a young insurgent
detainee of the local ANSF into the custody of the shura
elders, a time-honored act meant to empower such traditional
dispute mechanisms.



3. (C/REL NATO) The acting Sub-Governor was nonetheless
vigorously challenged during the course of the shura by
prominent negative influencers that asserted the people of
Tangi reject foreign influence and a corrupt Afghan
government. Speakers blamed the Karzai government for the
lack of security and accused the Coalition of ignoring
Pushtuns as the &true8 Afghans; the Taliban are
&brothers, fathers and sons.8 Coalition use of dogs and
night raids by CF were cited as examples of disrespect of
Afghan citizens in the Tangi Valley. Niematuallah appeared
to be defensive during this part of the shura and did not
respond to the comments.

TANGIBLE EFFECTS OF DISTRICT OUTREACH


--------------------------





4. (C/REL NATO) Lively throughout, the shura lasted
approximately five hours. Because we believed that the large
CF presence may have encouraged some grandstanding among the
speakers, who addressed their remarks largely to the CF
representatives, a decision was made to withdraw from the
vicinity of the shura. This move had a positive effect by
forcing the Afghans to speak with each other rather than with
us. Niematuallah was able to regain the initiative and the
remainder of the shura focused on his agenda of development
and reintegration. At times, the Afghan district government
representative was surrounded by elders and their tone became
conciliatory as he was able to convince them of GIRoA,s
intent and his sincerity.



5. (C/REL NATO) Following the shura, Hajji Niematullah
reported an unprecedented number of Tangi Valley residents
visiting the District Center in Seyadabad to apply for

KABUL 00000542 002.2 OF 002


citizens, services ) a transformative and tangible effect
of his outreach to an otherwise insurgent-dominated populace.
Shura representatives also formally petitioned the
Sub-Governor for a new women,s clinic and mosque, road
improvements, and even resolution of several minor disputes.
Mullahs agreed to register their mosques in order to receive
Afghan government support. Governor Fidai himself visited
Sayedebad subsequently to endorse and underscore
Niematullah,s efforts and to encourage the Sub-Governor to
extend them by holding further shuras throughout the Tangi
Valley.

COMMENT


--------------------------





6. (C/REL) Niematullah is impressive, works closely with the
Coalition, and radiates a sense of honesty and integrity. A
teacher, he lacks some rhetorical skills in public in this
society that prizes the oral tradition, but his
straightforward manner carries the day. Seyadabad is one of
four RC-East focus pilot districts in partnership with GIRoA,
and among the first tranche of IJC,s key terrain districts.
As such, the event represents a small, but significant
opening not unlike other GIRoA-led grassroots developments
taking place elsewhere in the more restive regions of RC-East
(reftel).



7. (C/REL) Niematullah, although in an acting capacity as
DSG, reportedly enjoys increasing support among Wardak-based
ANSF authorities and the Coalition, as well as Governor
Mohammad Halin Fidai. Fidai strongly endorses agricultural
and educational development as means of hindering the growth
of the insurgency, and is reportedly considering extending
Niematullah,s tenure based on his effectiveness in this
critical district. In a 2008 Newsweek interview, Fidai
asserted: &The insurgents (of Wardak) don,t have a place
in the people,s hearts.8 Our interagency security and
development efforts under the RC-East joint campaign plan
remain sharply focused on this pilot district and view this
opening as a positive development; Fidai and Sub-Governor
Niematullah are potentially strong partners to reintegrate
Tangi Valley Taliban. End comment.
Eikenberry