In the opening statement at the Moscow conference, the Taliban’s representative referred to the organization as the “Islamic Emirate” 61 times and laid out its demands for “peace” in Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is the name of the Taliban’s government before the US deposed it after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack by al Qaeda. The Taliban insists that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan be restored and recognized as the true representatives of the Afghan people.
The Taliban’s statement and demands (reproduced in full, below) should come as no surprise. It has consistently referred to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and has said it will not negotiate or share power with the Afghan government, which it views as “stooges of the West,” “illegitimate,” and most importantly, un-Islamic. For well over a decade it has insisted that Taliban leaders be removed from the UN sanctions list, its prisoners freed, and the recognition of a Taliban political office before it will even begin negotiations to end the war. And it insists that US and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can even be considered. That peace, of course, would be the Taliban’s peace; the Taliban is asking the US to negotiate the terms of its surrender.
In its statement at the Moscow conference, the Taliban pays lip service to issues such as “women’s rights,” “humanitarian issues,” and “civilian casualties.” However, as can be seen from reports emerging from areas currently under Taliban control, it continues to brutalize and subjugate women and has little regard for humanitarian services. In areas outside its control, it continues to use tactics, such as suicide bombings, that result in mass civilian casualties.
The Taliban also claims that it won’t be a threat to its neighbors. That, however, is also empty talk. The Taliban has refused to denounce al Qaeda and a host of other terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba that it shelters and supports. The Taliban has allowed al Qaeda to operate camps in areas under its control.
FDD’s Long War Journal has covered these issues at length. Unfortunately, US and western officials, military leaders, and academics, who are eager to end involvement in Afghanistan at any cost, have knowingly or unknowingly misrepresented the Taliban’s statements as evidence that it is sincere in negotiating an agreement to share power with the Afghan government. Turning over Afghanistan will have disastrous consequences for the people of Afghanistan, the region, and beyond.
Finally, allowing the Taliban to participate at the Moscow conference was a major propaganda coup for the Taliban, which admitted as much in a statement released yesterday on its official website, Voice of Jihad. The Taliban was given an international platform to legitimize its positions and promote itself as the true government of Afghanistan, as well as assail the US and west as brutal occupiers.
Full transcript of the Taliban’s speech at the Moscow conference:
Transcript of speech delivered by delegation of Islamic Emirate at Moscow Conference
In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings of Allah be upon his messenger, his family and all his companions. And thereafter:
First of all, I thank all participants, the ladies and gentlemen, who have gathered here for discussing and sharing their views regarding the solution of the problems of our beloved country, Afghanistan, and oppressed Afghan nation. I especially thank the Russian Federation for facilitating this important meeting in the country.
Now I would like to share information and position of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with the participants, regarding the current situation of my beloved country.
The causes of the ongoing miseries and conflicts in Afghanistan in the past four decades:
Our beloved country, Muslim and Mujahid nation have been burning in the flames of fire for the past four decades. Their spiritual and material assets have been robbed and looted; they have been prevented from progress and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Poverty and destitution are another main misfortune that the Afghan people are faced with due to war. The fundamental cause of all these disasters is interferences and invasions of foreigners.
It is worth mentioning that throughout the history Afghan Mujahid Nation has resorted to its legitimate right of defense against each invasion, which is still going on under the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan against the current invasion for the last 17 years.
Unfortunately, when the United States of America invaded the Afghan oppressed nation by lame excuses to topple an Islamic system, this turned the peaceful life and security of the Afghans into disorder; occupied the country; martyred hundreds of thousands of Afghans; displaced similar number and destroyed their villages and houses. They fomented geographical, ethnical, racial, religious and linguistic prejudices among the nation.
By eliminating Islamic and National values, they paved the way for corruption of morality and other administrative, social and intellectual corruption. By using prohibited chemical weapons, they not only threatened the life of humans, but by polluting the environment they threatened the life of animals as well. They polluted the country’s clean air and made its fertile land barren. They, once again, turned the country into the drug center, which unfortunately left more than 10 % of the population addicted to it, while the number of addicts during the reign of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was only few thousands country wide.
Not only this, rather they changed the country into the nest of international intelligence agencies. They created mistrust and unreliability among the people. These are just a few examples, otherwise the problems and miseries that have resulted from the invasion which the Afghan nation is facing are many more.
Now we would come to see how to take out the oppressed people of Afghanistan from this disaster.
• Need for Peace:
Peace is the first need of every society; especially it is the most important demand of all oppressed Afghans. Without peace, restful life, economical, educational, cultural, social and political progress is impossible. Only in peace, countries and nations have developed. However, peace comes not only by words and slogans, as in the past 15 years it has been used as a project; rather it needs strong will and clear action. Wherever the right to freedom is taken from nations, it is obvious that peace will be eliminated there and replaced by conflicts and wars.
War has been imposed on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Afghan nation, because their country has been occupied and the occupiers have removed an independent Islamic System. Thus, before everything, all those factors should be removed that have caused elimination of peace and continuation of war.
• Preliminary steps for Peace:
Before the beginning of the peace talks, some preliminary steps must be taken that are essential for peace and are parts of confidence building measures. Such as:
1 – Removal of Sanctions List:
Peace negotiations and sanctions list are two contradictory concepts and can’t go side by side. It is therefore required that these baseless sanctions and reward lists, that are used as a pressure tool for their interests, should be finished; so that representatives of the Islamic Emirate are able to participate in peace talks in different places without any hurdle.
It is also necessary that both sides should, as is their natural right, and without any pressure and in free atmosphere take forward the peace process. Not that one side is in the sanctions list and other side has freedom. This imbalanced process can neither go forward nor can give desired outcome.
2 – Release of Detainees:
Arrest and detention of Mujahidin and innocent Afghans are actions that are against peace. America and its protectorate regime have detained tens of thousands of Afghans and Mujahidin in their secret and open prisons and are ill treating them against all the laws. How is it possible that from one side one raises slogans of peace and from other side commits these malicious and illegal actions? This in itself is an obstacle to peace. For bringing real peace and reducing distance, other side must release all Mujahidin and ordinary innocent Afghans who are in prisons on mere accusations of having links with Mujahidin.
3 – Formally opening of the Office:
Venue for negotiations and a communication site in the shape of an office is necessary for peace. At present, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no open and formal address as a venue for negotiations which is a preliminary requirement. It may be said that regular peace meetings could only be held in a state of availability of an office. The office is also required to issue peace related press releases, respond to questions of people as a responsible entity and remove national and international concerns. Likewise, anti peace elements could not use this pretext that the official address of the Islamic Emirate is not known.
4 – Stopping poisonous propaganda against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan:
It is clear to all that with the support of the occupiers, wide poisonous propaganda is carried out against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Utterly unfounded accusations are leveled against Islamic Emirate which in itself becomes hurdle towards progress for peace. Some intelligence circles resort to some terrible incidents, such as: blowing bridges, spraying acid on school students, making explosions on road side civilian vehicles, abducting people and committing other crimes and then blindly use these incidents against the Islamic Emirate as raw material for propaganda, and then when investigated, the results of those investigations are also not disclosed. This proves that these abuses are not work of the Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate but rather of intelligence circles. It is because they think that by doing this, they would isolate the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from its nation and the world. Thus, for the sake of peace, this poisonous and baseless propaganda should be stopped, because truth and peace both are sacrificed at the altar of this negative propaganda.
Obstacles to Peace:
For real peace, the will of the people should be adhered to; occupation should be ended, because history has proved that Afghan nation has never surrendered to occupation. Occupation is mother of all the miseries. Peace in Afghanistan and withdrawal of foreign troops are tied with each other, because withdrawal of foreign troops practically paves the way for peace. But unfortunately, until now, peace has been used as a tactic in Afghanistan, and this is tantamount to throwing dust in the eyes of the people.
We see that the United States and some of its friends, instead of real peace, try to compel the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to surrender. They think that at first they would weaken the Islamic Emirate in the battle field and then will compel them to peace by having upper hand. But this is self-deception which is not in conformity with ground realities. Afghan Mujahid nation firmly stand behind the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The invaders and their friends should know that no aggressive power of the world can eliminate national power. Likewise, the problem could not be solved by irresponsible actions and unrealistic strategies. The main thing is that strong intention and strategy based on realities are needed for peace in which end of occupation is a crucial part.
• Lack of an independent Islamic System:
For peace and stability in Afghanistan, there should be agreement on the establishment of an Afghan inclusive independent Islamic System that is acceptable to Afghans and reflects Islamic and Afghan values, as Islam is the religion of the Afghan people and guarantor of the country’s economic prosperity, social justice and national unity.
• Lack of guarantee for peace agreements:
Peace process needs guarantees, as without this, the provisions of the peace agreements could not be properly implemented. Therefore, the United Nations, major powers, members of the Islamic Conference and facilitating countries must guarantee implementations of the agreements.
• The Current Constitution:
Constitution is a dire need for every state; since development of the country and the nation without it faces many problems and disorders. Through the constitution, personnel, civil, and political rights of every citizen of Afghanistan is organized. It explains the relationship between the government and the people; puts light on checks and balances among the three branches of the government; structures and determines the power and generally determines the strategy regarding Afghanistan’s domestic and foreign politics.
The current constitution of Kabul Administration is not reliable, because it has been copied from the West and has been imposed on Afghanistan’s Muslim society under the shadow of occupation. It can neither respond to the desires of the Afghans nor can be implemented, as its provisions are vague and contradictory with each other. It is constantly being violated by the high ranking officials of the Kabul Administration; rather the current administration itself is contrary to the constitution. So, the current constitution in its present version is a major obstacle to peace.
Therefore, for the development of the beloved country and honor-loving people, their prosperous life and welfare, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers it necessary that constitution must be based on principles of Islamic religion, national interests, historical achievements and social justice. It should be committed to human dignity, national values and human rights, and could guarantee territorial integrity of the country and all rights of all the citizens. The draft of such constitution should be prepared by Afghan scholars and intellectuals in an atmosphere of freedom.
• Continuation of War policy instead of Peace from the American side:
Peace talks and peace are those words that are repeated often by the occupiers. But practically, and constantly instead of peace negotiations hundreds of aerial and ground attacks are carried out. And for this, the latest policy of Americans is good and clear evidence. Instead of taking practical steps for peace, submitting to the will of the Afghan nation and ending the occupation, contrarily, they deployed more soldiers and gave them unrestricted abusive power of all kind of harassments and killings of the Afghan people. They resumed night raids on the houses of the people and increased airstrikes which resulted in the augmentation of civilian casualties. By creating and implementing other new projects, they further made the situation of Afghanistan and the region deteriorating and heightened the worries and concerns of regional and world countries. It all shows that they do not have intention for peace; rather they seek their interests in killing the Afghan people and destroying the country. Unfortunately, they do all these with the support of the Kabul Administration.
It is in a time that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has quite explicitly stated from time to time that the problem of Afghanistan could not be solved with wars, conflicts, force and money; the only way that could overcome the problems is ending the occupation and letting the Afghan people to determine their fate.
It is worth mentioning that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has said it before and now once again explicitly announces to the entire world that in order to end the occupation, we are ready for face to face negotiations with the Americans and to discuss relevant issues with them. We want them that instead of conflicts and use of force they should turn to wisdom and logic and refrain from further destroying our country, killing our citizens, and likewise from meaninglessly killing their own sons. They should respect the will of the Afghan people and allow them to determine their fate.
The Islamic Emirate has left the doors of understanding and negotiations open. the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is the only venue of the Emirate to reach peaceful settlement of the issue of Afghanistan.
Status of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan regarding some key issues:
• Three days Ceasefire on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr of this year:
The three days ceasefire by the Islamic Emirate on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr revealed that there is a unified power in the shape of the Islamic Emirate against the invasion across Afghanistan, and there is complete discipline in its military and civil ranks. They are all under one command and strongly obey orders of their leaders. Existence of 20 groups in Afghanistan was a mere propaganda.
Likewise, it was also proved, against the claim of the enemies of peace, that the ongoing war is not a war between Afghans but is military resistance of Afghan nation against the invasion. Afghans do not have problem among themselves. Foreign occupation is the main problem. This war will continue until and unless foreign soldiers exist in Afghanistan. Hence, withdrawal of foreign soldiers is necessary for peace in Afghanistan.
• No interference in the internal affairs of other countries:
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan makes legitimate efforts for independence of its country which is natural and human right of Afghan Muslim nation. Seeking independence of one’s country and establishing an Islamic system in conformity with the faith of its people cannot be considered terrorism. We would like to say that we don’t have agenda of destructive actions in other countries. In the past 17 years we have practically proved that we have not interfered in any way in other countries. Similarly, we do not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against other countries including neighboring countries. Our priority is to resolve the issue of Afghanistan through peaceful means. The United States must end the occupation and submit to the legitimate rights of the Afghans, including forming their government in conformity with their faith. After independence, we want to have positive and constructive relations with other countries including neighbors, and we welcome their assistance in reconstruction and development of the country. Similarly, we want to have positive role in peace and stability of the region and the world.
• Prevention of drug trafficking and cultivation:
During the overt reign of the Islamic Emirate, poppy cultivation had been reduced to zero and the number of heroin addicts among the Afghans was absolutely equal to none. However, after the US invasion in Afghanistan, poppy cultivated land area has reached 328 thousand hectares, and now under the shadow of 17 years of the occupation, the number of addicts has increased to three million people.
According to the UN Counter-Narcotics Organization report, the production of narcotics has increased by 87% and its cultivation by 63% in 2017, by which the scale of produced narcotics has reached 9000 metric tons. The policy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is to prevent poppy cultivation and drug trafficking. If the war ends in Afghanistan, then the Islamic Emirate is determined to reduce poppy cultivation and drug trafficking to zero throughout the country, and in this regard it is ready to provide support and to coordinate with the neighboring countries and international organizations.
• Prevention of Civilian Casualties:
We see that the scale of civilian casualties is increasing lately due to the ongoing imposed war. This state of our people not only hurts us but every Afghan with free conscious feels the pain. Afghan nation is our own soul and body and by its damage our own self is harmed.
Even our Esteemed leader, Amir-ul-Momineen Sheikh Hibatullah Akhondzada (May Allah protect him) has made strong instructions in his Eid messages to the Mujahidin to refrain from operations in places where there is risk of civilian casualties. Moreover, the Islamic Emirate has embedded an independent Commission in its structure by the name of prevention of civilian casualties that works for the prevention of civilian casualties and has representatives in every province who closely and precisely investigates incidents. It publishes credible reports about civilian casualties several times throughout the year.
Often, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has postponed its military operations due to the risk of civilian causalities, but the Americans and their friends carry out night raids on civilian houses, make blind bombardments and use heavy weapons in civilian places, even they arrest people from cities on the basis of suspicion and then kill them under punishment and torture. Now, with the new American policy, bombardment and night raids have further increased which in turn has increased the graph of civilian casualties as well; albeit most of the media do not publish these reports and these incidents remain nonregistered. Some media outlets and some directions attempt to hide the original perpetrators of civilian casualties which further embolden the perpetrators to continue their crimes.
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction or SIGAR says that their investigations have found that in 2018, American forces’ bombardments in Afghanistan have exceptionally increased, and they have dropped 1200 bombs only in the first three months of this year. On the second day of April 2018, as a result of a brutal aerial attack on a Madrasa in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province, they martyred 100 young memorizers of the Holy Quran and injured another 100. It is an iceberg of gruesome incidents. During the past 17 years, hundreds of similar incidents have taken place in which houses and educational institutions have been targeted.
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has taken the following practical measures for the prevention of civilian casualties:
1. In order to prevent civilian casualties, Mujahidin are provided with guidelines by scholars on regular basis and independent seminars are held in this regard.
2. Delegations pay visit to Mujahidin circles from time to time in order to investigate incidents of civilian casualties and prosecute the perpetrators.
It must also be said that for the sake of the country and prosperous life of our people, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers building and maintaining of places of public utility as a dire need. It considers bridges, tunnels, dams, electric power stations, electric supply centers, mineral extraction and oil refining centers and its equipments, educational institutions, Madrasas, mosques, schools, universities, health centers, clinics, hospitals, and other public utility places as national asset and public property of the Afghan nation and considers their safety its responsibility. We consider religious and modern education necessary for the success of all Afghans and Afghan society.
On one hand, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is engaged in fighting for the independence of the country; on the other hand has taken drastic steps for the security, safety and prosperity of the citizens in the areas under its control.
With a view to the current situation, Afghan nation is in need of humanitarian assistance more than ever. For completing this need, the Islamic Emirate not only considers itself committed to the security of entities from humanitarian assistance providing countries, the United Nations, International Organizations, national businessmen and other humanitarian NGOs to deliver humanitarian assistance, meanwhile calls on them to provide, on the basis of humanitarian sympathy, humanitarian assistance to those needy people living in areas under the control of the Islamic Emirate.
The Islamic Emirate has provided ground for their humanitarian activities in the areas under its control. The best proof in this regard is that the esteemed leader of the Islamic Emirate urged the NGO’s in its last year’s Eid message to come to areas under the control of the Emirate, and we guarantee your security.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers woman as the builders of a Muslim society and is committed to all rights of women that have been given to them by the sacred religion of Islam.
Islam has given women all fundamental rights, such as business and ownership, inheritance, education, work, choosing one’s husband, security, health, and right to good life. Likewise, the Holy prophet (peace be upon him) advised good attitude with women in the last moment of his life. These are all those instances that took the woman out of the horrific pits of traditions of ignorance to the highest levels of knowledge, morality and dignity.
There is no doubt that in Afghanistan, due to occupation, there are many challenges against women rights. Women are faced with a lot of disasters. The so called women rights activists stayed in Afghanistan for 17 years, in this period billions of dollars came to Afghanistan, but still Afghanistan is at the top of the countries where many women die during delivery due to lack of health facilities. Still deformed and disabled children are begotten in our country more than any other place (in the world) due to the use of chemical weapons. Afghanistan is still among the top countries of the world where the average life expectancy rate of women is only 45. It is among the top countries of the world where there are more than one million widows. Due to corruption, the expenses brought and spent under the title of women rights have gone to the pockets of those who raise slogans of women rights.
Under the name of women rights, there has been work for immorality, indecency and circulation of non-Islamic cultures. Dissemination of western and non-Afghan and non-Islamic drama serials, paving way for immoral crimes, and encouraging women for violating Afghan customs are other instances that have been imposed on Afghan society under the name of women rights.
From the beginning, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has a very comprehensive and clear approach towards the rights of women. As Islam and then Afghan tradition is two major values of the Afghan Mujahid nation, so Islamic Emirate is also committed to all rights of women within this framework. The policy of the Islamic Emirate is to protect the rights of women in a way that neither their legitimate rights are violated nor their human dignity and Afghan values are threatened. Similarly, the Islamic Emirate is committed to eliminate all those evil customs and traditions that violate women rights and do not comply with Islamic principles, and provide them safe environment.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has a distinctive health commission functioning all over the country. This commission has its representatives in every province and every district, who from one side conduct internal health affairs of the Emirate and on the other side cooperate with and provide security to healthcare-providing associations and organizations.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has conveyed this message to the world during face to face meetings and through media outlets that it considers health personnel as being neutral. Injured persons of the parties to the conflict as well as injured civilians should be brought to hospitals and treated without any discrimination. In this regard the Islamic Emirate has agreements with international health organizations, such as ICRC, Emergency and Doctors without Borders. The Islamic Emirate Afghanistan has always urged the humanitarian assistance organizations and human rights organizations to make Kabul Administration and foreign forces to treat the wounded and detainees in the same way as the Islamic Emirate does.
The Islamic Emirate has made vast efforts to build clinics and hospitals in its areas and prepare and train health personnel for it, but unfortunately the occupiers consider it a legitimate target for themselves and always resort to bombing it. Due to this, several times our hospitals have been raided and bombed, even the clinics and hospitals that were running by the support of other NGOs in our areas have also been bombed. The bombing carried out against the hospital of Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Kunduz and the raid on a hospital in Wardak province are clear examples.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has published statements regarding security of health and education personnel of all sides and has advised Mujahidin not to target these people, but ensure their security so that they could do their work in the best way they can.
Unfortunately, the occupiers target our hospitals and ambulances; take out our wounded persons being transported in ambulances of other health organizations, arrest those wounded persons who are under treatment in hospitals and despite applying different methods of torture on our members, they do not even treat their common diseases.
The Islamic Emirate, once again, announce from this forum that in health sector the Emirate always considers itself committed to all the rights of the citizens and tries its best to deliver them all health services in the best way it can. It calls on human rights organizations to urge Kabul Administration and occupiers to respect human rights and not target hospitals that are in areas under the control of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. We expect foreign organizations to consider all Afghans as equal and as such deliver their services, particularly we expect them to pay attention to the areas that are under the control of the Islamic Emirate, because compared to urban areas, needs of people in rural areas are dire and greater.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has full cooperation with the United Nations, World Health Organization and other health organizations and this cooperation has provided ground for them to carry on their works in the best way in all parts of Afghanistan. In this regard, Polio and other vaccinations programs in many parts of the country that are carried out by relevant organizations by direct support of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are worth mentioning.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, once again, fully assures health related organizations about its cooperation.
Thanks to all participants for listening attentively to our position and views regarding the current miseries of Afghanistan. Thank you.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.