Washington: 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 WhiteHouse 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 organizations,” 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 organistaion, 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 Organizations, Pakistan Taliban has been designated as a terror organistaion but not Afghanistan Taliban.
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) January 28, 2015
When asked about the prisoner swap with the Taliban for US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl (he was freed last year in exchange for Guantanamo Bay prisoners), Schultz said that was a different case and the arrangement was made as an “end of conflict” action in support of the president’s commitment to “leave no man/woman behind” as US was “winding down of the war in Afghanistan.”