The Taliban reiterated yesterday that it views itself as the sole representative of the Afghan people, while those who fight for the Afghan government are “puppets” of the United States.
The Taliban made these points and more in a statement that addressed the International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in the Republic of Afghanistan, which is being held in Saudi Arabia today and tomorrow. The statement was released on July 9 in English on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not a rebellious or terrorist group. But the Islamic Emirate is the name of the thirty million Afghani nation’s struggle for demand of Islam and independence. Islamic Emirate has deep roots in its nation. At the present there is its complete control over 70% geography of Afghanistan,” the group said.
This issue was first addressed at FDD’s Long War Journal on June 26. See Taliban: We’re ‘another name of the Afghan nation’ for more information on this subject.
But the point is worth reinforcing: the Taliban has repeatedly said that it will not negotiate with or share power a government it views as illegitimate. Instead, the Taliban views itself as the legitimate representative of the Afghan people, and will only settle for the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The US government, NATO, and the Afghan government, along with those who advise them, continue to insist that a negotiated settlement with the Taliban is the only solution. Their failure to understand the nature and motivations of the Taliban ensures that such a strategy is doomed to fail.