One would never envy the lives of the members of an Islamic militancy group – with the only exception being the Taliban negotiators living in Doha, Qatar.
As per Newsweek's Sami Yousafzai, the Taliban representatives who have been in Qatar since 2013 to talk peace with the Afghan government and its western allies are living extremely comfortable lives in posh areas guarded by a brigade of security forces.
"The oil-rich state provides its Taliban guests and their families with every comfort: luxury SUVs, free medical care and air-conditioned homes the size of small castles," writes Yousafzai.
Moreover, they don't feel the need to conceal their identities or limit any daily activities even though they belong to an outfit that has been involved in mass murders of innocent people. But even that would've been acceptable had their presence in Qatar been fruitful for the peace process. In the two years they've been in the monarchy, the Taliban reps have made a single deal, which was to swap U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five Guantanamo prisoners.
Like them, the freed quintet too is living luxuriously, all thanks to the generosity of Qatar's emir. To make them feel more comfortable, the author claims that each of the five Taliban terrorists has been allowed to invite over five families from Afghanistan. All in all, there are about 35 Taliban households in Doha.
“We have good lives here,” Yousafzai quotes his Taliban source as saying. “We thank the state of Qatar for that.”
They've manufactured their comfy living in the kingdom on the back of their killings and bombings. Meanwhile, a regular Afghani laborer has to work his socks off to make ends meet, both before and after migrating to Qatar. For some, the knowledge that their oppressors from back home have joined them on a foreign land and are getting the VIP treatment is deeply frustrating.
"Their bathrooms are bigger than our living rooms,” one Doha-based Afghan worker told Yousafzai.
While they and the Gitmo five are certainly enjoying their new Qatari lives, the bad news is their mindset about war and innocent lives hasn't changed an iota. In fact, the freed prisoners are itching to rejoin their old regime, but can't because of the terms of their release.
Qatar aims at becoming the sporting hub of the world and is set to attract more and more international tourists every year, with the culmination point being the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hence, having a bunch of terrorists and their contagiously radical thoughts take shelter in their land without any restrictions whatsoever is perhaps not the wisest decisions ever taken by the emir.