Naiks Account Denied
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The story...

According to the Pakistani representative at this [July 2001] meeting, Niaz Naik, US representatives, trying to convince the Taliban to share power with US-friendly factions, said: "Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs."

Our take...

The American participants in the meeting said that, although the possibility of military action had been brought up, it wasn't a significant issue.

Mr Coldren [said] "I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action." The three former US diplomats "based our discussion on hearsay from US officials", he said. It was not an agenda item at the meeting "but was mentioned just in passing"...

Mr Simons denied having said anything about detailed operations. "I've known Niaz Naik and considered him a friend for years. He's an honourable diplomat. I didn't say anything like that and didn't hear anyone else say anything like that. We were clear that feeling in Washington was strong, and that military action was one of the options down the road. But details, I don't know where they came from."

Mr Inderfurth said: "There was no suggestion for military force to be used. What we discussed was the need for a comprehensive political settlement to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan, that has been going on for two decades, and has been doing so much damage.",4273,4262511,00.html

A Russian participant at the meeting also failed to confirm Naiks account, although he suggested there may have been other discussions that he didn't hear.

Nikolai Kozyrev, Moscow's former special envoy on Afghanistan and one of the Russians in Berlin, would not confirm the contents of the US conversations, but said: "Maybe they had some discussions in the corridor. I don't exclude such a possibility.",4273,4262511,00.html

And so although the diplomats hint at some mention of the possibility of military action (hardly a surprise as Clinton had ordered missiles missiles at Afghanistan years before), there’s no confirmation of the substance of Naiks claims.

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