Afghan Government and NATO Tricked by Imposter Posing As Taliban Leader
November 23, 2010
Kabul (ChattahBox World News)—Afghan government officials and several NATO allies met with a man who they believed was the Taliban’s second-in-command, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, and allegedly paid him a large sum of money to negotiate for a treaty. Unfortunately, sources revealed yesterday, the man was not, in fact Mansour, but an imposter, the UK Guardian reports.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai downplayed the story, first reported by the New York Times, referring to it as “propaganda.” Many believe that Karzai met the imposter in his palace and arranged NATO air travel for Taliban representatives who were engaged in peace talks, but Karzai denied those notions, the Guardian noted.
It is unclear why the imposter posed as a Taliban official, but a report in the Washington Post indicated that he might be a humble Pakistani shopkeeper. The deceit was discovered when an Afghan official who had previously met Mansour presented for the negotiations and did not recognize the man posing as Mansour. For their part, Taliban leaders say that they will not participate in any negotiations until foreign soldiers leave Afghanistan, the Guardian reports.