963. 9/27/1996

On September 27, 1996, “within hours of Kabul [Afghanistan]‘s capture by the Taliban, the US State Department announced it would establish diplomatic relations with the Taliban by sending an official to Kabul–an announcement it also quickly retracted. State Department spokesman Glyn Davies said the US found ‘nothing objectionable’ in the steps taken by the Taliban to impose Islamic law. He described the Taliban as anti-modern rather than anti-Western. US Congressmen weighed in on the side of the Taliban. ‘The good part of what has happened is that one of the factions at last seems capable of developing a government in Afghanistan,’ said Senator Hank Brown [R-CO], a supporter of the Unocal [oil pipeline] project. Embarrassed US diplomats later explained to me [journalist Ahmed Rashid] that the over-hasty US statement was made without consulting the US Embassy in Islamabad [Pakistan].”

 – Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, Page 166

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