“If the Taliban stays with Al Qaeda there are a lot of incentives,” says Sami Yousafzai, an independent analyst in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. “If they say ‘OK, we’re not going to support Al Qaeda,’ that might have an impact on their financial sources from the Middle East.”
During the past few years, many Arabs opposed to the West have come to see Afghans, especially Pashtuns as like-minded allies.
“The Taliban are very much concerned about the general public opinion,” says Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist and independent analyst. “Some of them say that ‘We cannot give an impression to the Afghan or Pashtun masses that we are making any deals with the United States or that we are under pressure.’ They are sure that in three or four years they will defeat the United States.”