The Taliban's Abdul Hakeem Mujahid: An iviews.com interview
Washington, DC, October 26 (iviews.com) A senior US diplomat met Monday with a representative of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia to discuss the expulsion of suspected Saudi terrorist Usamah bin Laden from Afghan soil. Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, the Taliban representative at the United Nations, spoke to iviews.com about his meeting with Assistant Secretary for South Asia Affairs Karl Inderfurth, and about US-Afghan relations.
iviews.com: What were the issues you and Asst. Sec. Inderfurth discussed yesterday?
Mujahid: We discussed the issue of Usamah bin Laden, and the resolution of the UN Security Council, and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's responsibilities and non-responsibilities.
iviews.com: Was there any progress on those issues?
Mujahid: Sure. We discussed the issue very widely; we put some proposals in front of them. They will discuss and consider them. After that, we sent our records to our leadership in Afghanistan, and we are waiting for their reaction in this regard.
iviews.com: Are you able to discuss the nature of the proposals you gave the US?
Mujahid: Actually, talking about those proposals would be premature.
iviews.com: What is your view of the UN sanctions against Afghanistan that will take effect in November? (The sanctions will prevent flights in and out of Afghanistan and freeze Taliban funds overseas.) What will be the effect?
Mujahid: The sanctions will affect the common people of Afghanistan. You know, Afghanistan is a landlocked country, and many transit ways through Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are closed. The only way for the basic needs of the people of Afghanistan is with Ariana airlines. Today, I got the news that a woman from a very respected Afghan family had died, and they wanted to transfer her, and there was no transportation. The children come out for medical treatment, and medicine and food are brought into Afghanistan through this airline. I don't know, this organization, the United Nations, is basically claiming they are working for the protection of human rights while they are violating others' human rights there in Afghanistan.
iviews.com: What is your feeling of groups like the Feminist Majority who have taken up the cause of women in Afghanistan?
Mujahid: The Feminist Majority is not working for the Afghan women. They are working for their own political agenda, collecting money. So far they have collected millions and millions, but no one can show a receipt that they have sent money to Afghan women. Their main agenda is to distort facts and realities in Afghanistan and defame the Islamic movement and the Islamic government there in Afghanistan. This is their main agenda. Despite our desire and our request of the Feminist Majority to contact us or allow us to contact them, they have not done so and they will not do so.
iviews.com: If the groups who oppose the Taliban will not discuss the issues with you, do they meet and cooperate with the opposition, like Ahmed Shah Masood's group, who are fighting the Taliban?
Mujahid: The personnel of many organizations were previously communists, working as a coalition with the Masood party. For example, Zieba Shorish (president of the Women's Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan), is an Afghan and a Muslim, but her husband is Jewish. This is not allowed for a Muslim woman. And she is the main activist for the Feminist Majority.
iviews.com: Have you heard the charges made recently by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California that the State Department essentially helped create the Taliban?
Mujahid: Congressman Rohrabacher is making a lot of exaggerations, and his words are more emotional than realistic. He is making a lot of propaganda in favor of the former king of Afghanistan, Zahir Khan. He is working for that same kingdom to be restored in Afghanistan. He is an activist of King Zahir Khan, but he cannot bring Zahir Khan back by defaming others, or distorting facts and realities there in Afghanistan. It is obvious to the world the harsh stance of the United States government against the Taliban Islamic movement, and yet he claims that the US is supporting the Taliban. Maybe the US is supporting the Taliban with the more than 70 cruise missiles fired at Taliban controlled area, and putting sanctions against Afghanistan. Then he is claiming that the United States is supporting the Taliban--this is nothing more than madness.
iviews.com: Does Afghanistan plan any efforts to help the people of Chechnya in their situation now?
Mujahid: Our leadership declared from the very beginning, that at this stage of the people of Afghanistan, they are in great difficulties. We will not be able to support them materially. But our spiritual support is with them, and we call on the world community, that this is the time to raise your voice. If you become silent, it means that your claims for the humanitarian cause is baseless, and no one can accept in the future your stand as a mediator or as a well-wisher for mankind. Recently we called on the world community to prevent the Russians from these kind of brutal attacks against the people of Chechnya.
iviews.com: Do you believe Islamic governments will inevitably clash with the West, or is there a chance for warmer relations once these certain issues are resolved?
Mujahid: We do not have any kind of problems with the world community, and we do not want to be in conflict with the Western countries. The only task that we have ahead is to bring our national unity and national security and a strong Islamic government in our country, Afghanistan, and this will be more than enough for us. And there is a task to reconstruct our country, of which 90% has been destroyed during the 20 year long war. So we do not have a problem, but if some countries in the West are making problems, we are forced to defend ourselves.
Topics: Afghanistan, Conflicts And War, Taliban, United Nations