Differentiating between Afghanistan Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the White House has said that while the ISIS comes under the ambit of a terrorist organistaion, the Taliban does not and has instead referred to it as an “armed insurgency”.
The remark was made by Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary, Eric Schultz who was delivering his first White House press briefing on Wednesday when a journalist from the ABC channel raked up the issue of ISIS offer of prisoner swap for a captured Jordanian pilot. Making clear the US policy on ransoms, Schultz said that it was America’s longstanding policy that “we don’t pay ransom, that we don’t give concessions to terrorist organisations,” the Wall Street Journal quoted.
However, Schultz refused to compare the ISIS prisoner swap offer with the Taliban prisoner swap for US Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying that they were two different situations.
“The Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups,” Schultz said. Asked again if the White House did not consider the Taliban as a terrorist organisation, he repeated that the Taliban “is an armed insurgency”.
Later in a tweet, Schultz made it clear that according to the US State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations, Pakistan Taliban has been designated as a terror organisation but not Afghanistan Taliban.