NEW YORK - With the planned US-Taliban talks already facing problems, a former Pakistani diplomat has implored the United States not to negotiate with the Taliban, stating that “they are a movement with an extreme ideology and will not compromise easily on their deeply held beliefs”.“As was the case in the 1990s, negotiating with the Taliban now would be a grievous mistake,” Hussain Haqqani, a former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, wrote in The New York Times on Friday. “Unlike most states or political groups, the Taliban aren’t amenable to a pragmatic deal,” he said in an op-ed piece, rejecting Pakistan’s stance on the proposed talks and suggesting that American diplomats should read up on the history of Washington’s engagement with the Taliban during Bill Clinton’s Presidency.Stating that the planned talks have been arranged through the good offices of Pakistan’s Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Haqqani said that direct dialogue with the group will give them a source of international legitimacy, and that they are most likely just playing for time until coalition troops withdraw in 2014.  “There is no reason to believe — and no evidence — that the Taliban are now ready for political accommodation. Pakistan’s link with the talks differs little from the last two times it tried to save the Taliban from America’s wrath, after the bombings of the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and immediately after 9/11,” Haqqani wrote. “Pakistan’s goal has always been to arrange American talks with the Taliban without being responsible for the outcome.”Haqqani wrote, “As the Taliban advanced in eastern Afghanistan in 1996, they took over several training camps run by various Pakistan-supported Mujahideen factions and Arab groups affiliated with al Qaeda. The Taliban’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Adviser at the time, Abdul Jalil, told American officials that the “Arab” occupants of the camps had fled, and that Osama bin Laden’s precise location was unknown. Taliban interlocutors assured the United States that the “Taliban did not support terrorism in any form and would not provide refuge to Osama bin Laden.”“That was, of course, an outright lie. The CIA concluded that the Taliban had closed down training camps run by their Afghan rivals but not the ones run by Bin Laden and terrorist groups.”“In October 1996, Jalil delivered a friendly diplomatic message from the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, to American representatives, letting them know that “the Taliban think highly of the US, appreciated US help during the Jehad against the Soviets, and want good relations with the US.” This, too, turned out to be nothing but dissimulation. At one point, Pakistani officials even suggested that America ‘buy’ Bin Laden from the Taliban, he said.“Ironically, while American diplomats were interacting with Taliban officials, Western journalists travelling in Afghanistan often found evidence of large-scale terrorist training. An American Embassy cable in November 1996 spoke of an unnamed British journalist’s seeing“assorted foreigners, including Chechens, Bosnians, Sudanese” as well as various Arabs training for global Jehad in Afghan provinces adjacent to Pakistan.Mullah Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban representative, told American officials in 1997 that Bin Laden’s expulsion was not a solution and urged them to recognise the legitimacy of Taliban rule “if the US did not want every Afghan to become a Bin Laden.” By then, the Taliban had changed their story on Bin Laden. They admitted that he was their ‘guest’ but insisted that they had “instructed him not to commit, support or plan any terrorist acts from Afghan soil.”“On Aug. 20, 1998, American missiles struck Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for the terrorist attacks on the Embassies in Africa. Two days later, Mullah Omar called the State Department and demanded President Bill Clinton’s resignation, asserting that the missile attack would spread Bin Laden’s anti-American message by uniting the fundamentalist Islamic world and would cause further terrorist attacks.“For the Taliban, direct dialogue with the United States is a source of international legitimacy and an opportunity to regroup. They are most likely playing for time while waiting for American troops to withdraw in 2014.“Everything about the talks in Qatar hints at déjà vu. America must enter these talks with a healthy dose of skepticism, or not participate at all.”