Omar Samad, Afghanistan’s former ambassador to Canada, tackles Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar’s recent letter:
For most Afghans though, the biggest concern remains Taliban ties to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), long accused of interference in Afghan affairs through different proxies. It is difficult to imagine a change in the widespread Afghan mistrust towards Pakistan’s ruling apparatus as long as the ISI continues to provide sanctuary and logistical support to militants, and exercise command-and-control authority through rogue elements over key militant networks.
It is also inconceivable that terms such as “change in the status quo” and “gunboat diplomacy” both used in Mullah Omar’s Eid message, and unheard of from a former village mullah, would come from his personal lexicon (especially considering that Omar was born in a landlocked country!), pointing to his continued mentoring by non-Afghans.