The ink on the peace agreement signed between the USA and the Taliban on 29 February 2020 in Doha had barely dried when the disruptive noises started emerging to defeat the likelihood of peace in Afghanistan.
We all know who doesn’t want peace, and why, but for now there is the need to look at the officially declared policies of the Taliban. This is important if we want to visualize the texture of policy stance of Afghanistan when the Taliban may possibly be a part of the administration.
For years there has been steady flow of assertions from certain media and politicians that the Taliban will disrupt infrastructure projects such as TAPI, CASA-1000, etc, the Taliban are about the violate the borders of Central Asia, there are foreign fighters among the Taliban, etc, etc.
There is the need to see as to what is the position of the Taliban on these allegations.
The basic premise here is: The Taliban actually mean what they say.
This is simultaneously their strength and their weakness.
With this in mind, let’s look at some of the policy statements of the Taliban that are of vital importance for Central Asia.
TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline) is a project of inter-regional importance. Given the fair chance, it could actually lead to lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan because it is not just a gas pipeline; it is a complete corridor.
Statement of Islamic Emirate concerning launch of TAPI project in Afghanistan
Date: February 23, 2018
The TAPI Project – an important regional economic project which was originally initiated during the reign of the Islamic Emirate – is among the industrial and economic projects that have faced delays due to the American occupation of Afghanistan.
As the authorship privilege of this project is earned by the Islamic Emirate and since the documents and agreements signed between the Islamic Emirate and other sides involved in the TAPI project are still present and because most of the TAPI implementation area is under the control of Islamic Emirate, therefore the Islamic Emirate declares its policy towards the said project in the following lines:
1 – The Islamic Emirate views the project as a vital foundational economic element for the country and considers its proper implementation as good news for the Afghan people.
2 – The Islamic Emirate declares its support for the implementation of the said project passing through areas under our control and calls all sides involved to be mindful of the principled policy of the Islamic Emirate.
3 – Since Kabul regime holds international record in corruption and during their rule, no important project has ever been undertaken without financial corruption, embezzlement and theft, hence it will also orchestrate extensive corruption in this project. Therefore if the Islamic Emirate – during the implementation of the project – gets hold of resources proving embezzlement and corruption by officials of the regime and squandering of rights of the people, the Islamic Emirate will act to stop such actions. It also hopes that the involved sides will be vigilant in this regard so that this national project does not face complications and delays.
4 – Since this project is purely industrial and economic and the American invaders do not have any economic or military interests in it, therefore it is entirely possible that the Americans – for their vested interests – will create indirect problems for the project like how they created issues for the Mes Ainak project. The contract for extraction work was signed with the Chinese (MCC) company in 2008 however the project has yet to begin any practical work.
The TAPI project is the second most important foundational project after Mes Aynak which can positively impact the economic growth of the Afghans. The Americans can never tolerate any such project and program which is in the interest of the Afghans. Therefore the Islamic Emirate proposes to all sides – excluding the Kabul regime – involved in the TAPI project to take a pact of security and non-jeopardization from America through the United Nations or some other respected organization before beginning any work otherwise it is not far that the said project will face similar delays as the Mes Aynak project due to American meddling.
5 – The Islamic Emirate deems it its responsibility to revive foundational economic and reconstruction work in the country and asks international constructional companies to help the Afghans in this regard. The Islamic Emirate will in return not withhold any support for them.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – 07/06/1439 Hijri Lunar – 04/12/1396 Hijri Solar – 23/02/2018 Gregorian
There are several infrastructure projects other than TAPI corridor that are in different stages of planning that could turn Afghanistan into an industrial power and a significant hub for the transit of energy and cargo.
Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding backing national projects in the country
Date: November 29, 2016
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is an Islamic and national force of the country waging Jihad and struggling to bring an end to the occupation, giving all lawful rights to the people and securing Islamic and national goals. And the sacrifices it has presented in this path are not hidden from anyone.
And just as the leader of the Islamic Emirate has stated in his messages and as declared by delegations of the Political Office during international conferences, the Islamic Emirate not only backs all national projects which are in the interest of the people and result in the development and prosperity of the nation but are also committed to safeguarding them. These include large national projects like TAPI, CASA-1000, Mes Aynak, highway and railway projects, power and agricultural dams and other such projects that follow the guidelines set out by the Islamic Emirate.
The Islamic Emirate directs all its Mujahideen to help in the security of all national projects that are in the higher interest of Islam and the country.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – 29/02/1438 Hijri Lunar – 09/09/1395 Hijri Solar – 29/11/2016 Gregorian
One of the media and political hype has been that the Taliban could be harboring some kind of extra-territorial ambitions.
Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding non-interference in internal affairs of others
Date: July 18, 2016in: Statements
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is an Islamic and national movement working towards independence and establishment of an Islamic system. It is the representative of the pure lofty aspirations of the nation, has arisen from among the masses and lives amongst them.
In the current circumstances it is struggling to end the occupation of the beloved homeland and for the legitimate Islamic and national goals of the Afghan people.
Its policy towards other nations is based on “Do not harm nor accept harm” which has been repeatedly announced in the statements by the Islamic Emirate as well as in the Eid messages of its leader.
Hence in accordance with the stated policy, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wishes to assure the Central Asian countries and all its neighbors that – contrary to the enemy propaganda – the Islamic Emirate does not seek to interfere in the internal affairs of others nor will it allow anyone to use the land under the control of Islamic Emirate against anyone else rather we seek to live alongside others in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – 31/10/1437 Hijri Lunar – 28/04/1395 Hijri Solar – 18/07/2016 Gregorian
It is alleged from time to time that there are foreign fighters among the Taliban, remnant of the jihad against the Soviet Union.
Statement of the Islamic Emirate Regarding the UN Experts Report about Presence of Non-Afghan Mujahideen in Afghanistan
Date: November 07, 2016in: Statements
Recently a report has been published on the part of UN which says that there are many foreign Mujahideen in Afghanistan alongside the Islamic Emirate and have vast participation in the fighting.
These claims are part and parcel of efforts of the Kabul Administration which is bent on boosting foothold of the moribund Kabul regime and prolonging their reign by dint of foreign power. Similarly, America wants to intimidate other countries in order to continue and justify her illegitimate presence in Afghanistan and keep them on their side in the occupation of Afghanistan and divide her financial and soul losses among others and reduce its burden. Furthermore, she has other long-term objectives in the region. For this purpose, the rulers of the Kabul Administration and the invading countries of Afghanistan give distorted information to these experts.
The Islamic Emirate has often reiterated that there is no foreign national in its files and ranks, nor there is any need for them because:
- Arab Mujahideen had come to Afghanistan during Jihad against the Red Army of the former Soviet Union but they returned to their countries following the recent developments and the American occupation. Now they have proper and vast environment of living and activity in Arabic countries.
- If there were foreign supporters with the Islamic Emirate in the fighting, the American or their hirelings of the Kabul Administration would have captured them in a battle in any place or they would have had area in their hands so that the (Americans and the Kabul Administration) would have put them forth as evidence.
- Those people who tried to create problems in the eastern regions of the country under the name of Daesh were rejected by the Afghan nation. They faced failure instead of advancement. A few remnants of them rear up their heads time and again by utilizing the prevalent situation at eastern borders but they are not able to pose any big threat.
- With the help of publication of such news and reports, the Americans want to attribute to others the advancement made by the Islamic Emirate which actually emanate from the freedom-loving and Islamic aspirations of the Afghan nation and is a national uprising and to distract the attention from the legitimate struggle and demands of the Afghan people and to create obstacles in their way.
- Majority of the Afghan nation is with the Islamic Emirate and recruits from among them in the ranks of the Islamic Emirate as per need. There is no need for manpower from others.
- The policy of the Islamic Emirate is neither to use the soil of Afghanistan against any one nor to intervene in the internal affairs of others. Similarly, does not allow others to intervene in its internal affairs.
- The Islamic Emirate has a single military organizational set-up across the country. There is no other parallel set-up, nor there is permission for any such set-up.
The Islamic Emirate calls on the world countries, particularly, on the people of the Western countries not to support the Americans any more due to their mere pretexts nor give ear to such estimates and reports being in contradiction with the ground realities.
The Islamic Emirate, as a responsible entity in the region, reiterates that the current struggle and Jihad in Afghanistan is only aimed at obtaining independence of Afghanistan and forming an Islamic system. It is an uprising which originates from the Islamic faith and the Afghan feeling.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – 12/11/1437 Hijri Lunar – 25/05/1395 Hijri Solar – 07/11/2016 Gregorian
Official website of the Taliban – http://alemarahenglish.com/
In English, Pashto, Dari/Persian, Arabic, Urdu
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Communication is essential. While the inter-Afghan conversation takes shape [and, hopefully it doesn’t get derailed], it would be useful for Central Asia to establish the dialogue with the Taliban to determine the nature of interaction with them. /// nCa, 4 March 2020
To be continued . . .