Terugkeer van de Taliban/Over een vreemde bezetting op Afghaanse bodem/I

TERUGKEER VAN DE TALIBAN/VREEMDE BEZETTING OP AFGHAANSEBODEM/DEEL 1

'We have expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation on this,' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in Kabul, Afghanistan [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

‘We have expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation on this,’ Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in Kabul, Afghanistan [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]
WOORDVOERDER TALIBAN OP EERSTE PERSCONFERENTIE

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/17/transcript-of-talibans-first-press-conference-in-kabul

”“We have expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation on this.”
Uit de eerste Persconferentie, gegeven door de Taliban 
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/17/transcript-of-talibans-first-press-conference-in-kabul

INLEIDING

LEZERS!
Nu de Taliban, na de terugtrekking van de Westerse bezettingstroepen,weer in Afghanistan vaste voet onder de grond gekregen hebben [1] vind ikhet van belang, twee oudere artikelen van mij te publiceren, omdat zij vertellen,wat de mainstream pers tracht te verzwijgen, dat de vanaf de aanval op Afghanistan gepleegde VS/NAVO aanwezigheid in Afghanistan niets meerof minder dan een buitenlandse bezetting was, die, samen met hun Afghaanse ”consorten” bekende of meer verzwegenoorlogsmisdaden op zijn geweten heeft [2] naast de reguliere onderdrukkingEn uiteraard:De Taliban, die trouwens het volste recht hadden, zich te verzetten tegen diebuitenlandse bezetter [3] heeft zich zonder twijfel schuldig gemaakt aanonderdrukking en misdaden [4]Dus van mijn kant geen enkele poging om de Taliban als alternatief voor detoekomst van het Afghaanse volk te zien.Maar het is WEL zo, dat er maar EEN is, die beslist over Afghanistan endat is het Afghaanse volk zelf.Nogmaals, het Westen had en heeft ook in de toekomst, niets in Afghanistante zoeken!Zie ook de eerste Persconferentie van de Taliban, na de machtsovername![5]
ASTRID ESSED
[NOTEN, DIE BIJ BOVENSTAANDE HOREN, GEHEEL ONDERINMIJN ARTIKEL]
NU HET ARTIKEL ASTRID ESSED, GESCHREVEN VOOR DE PROGRESSIEF-KRITISCHE WEBZINE UITPERS.BE IN MAART2008
NEDERLANDSE MILITAIRE DEELNAME IN AFGHANISTAN: WEDEROPBOUWMISSIE OF BEZETTINGSMACHT!
https://www.uitpers.be/nederlandse-militaire-deelname-in-afghanistan-wederopbouwmissie-of-bezettingsmacht/

1 Maart 2008  Astrid Essed

”Wie in modder roert, moet niet verbaasd zijn, vieze handen te krijgen”

 Anoniem

Voorwoord:

Bij de Sovjet-Russische inval en herbezetting van het voormalige Tjechoslowakije, in 1968, ter onderdrukking van de opkomende liberaliserende stromingen, werd een Tsjechisch dorp veroverd. Op een door de Russische troepen bijeengeroepen gemeenteraadsvergadering merkte de burgemeester op: “Bent u gekomen om mijn land te bezetten’” . “Neen, om u te beschermen”, merkte de Russische legeraanvoerder op.

Aan deze woorden dacht schrijfster dezes, toen zij een artikel las over het verhoogde Nederlands militair offensief  tegen het in Uruzgan aanwezige Taliban verzet. [1]

Evenals deze Russische legeraanvoerder wordt door het merendeel van de Nederlandse politici, legerautoriteiten, en de media, de realiteit van de Nederlandse deelname aan de oorlog in Afghanistan omgezet in schoonklinkende termen als ”vredesmissie”, ”hulp bij de wederopbouw”, ”bescherming tegen de Talibanterreur” en ”bevrijding van Afghanistan’’ etc. [2]

Een wijs man heeft eens gezegd, dat niets politici zo goed uitkomt als een kort geheugen.

Het is daarom niet verwonderlijk, dat kennelijk in de Nederlandse politieke herinnering is weggezakt, dat de Nederlandse militaire aanwezigheid, nog afgezien van de politieke intentie, een nasleep  is van de in 2001 door de Britten en Amerikanen gevoerde illegale en vuile oorlog tegen Afghanistan, met de logistieke en politieke NAVO-steun.

Een terugblik:

Brits-Amerikaanse aanval op Afghanistan:

1 In strijd met het Internationaal Recht:

Nog afgezien van de bij de Brits-Amerikaanse aanval op Afghanistan gepleegde oorlogsmisdaden, is deze aanval in strijd geweest met het Internationaal Recht, aangezien er geen sprake is geweest van een Mandaat  door de VN Veiligheidsraad. [3]


2 Aanleiding tot de aanval:

Als directe aanleiding tot de aanval is aangevoerd de echte of vermeende betrokkenheid van Osama bin Laden bij de WTC aanslagen en de mede-betrokkenheid van de Taliban-regering in Afghanistan. Opvallend echter is het feit, dat er  tot op heden geen op harde feiten gebaseerd aantoonbaar bewijs is geleverd is voor een eventuele betrokkenheid van Osama bin Laden, laat staan de Taliban-regering.
Een door de toenmalige Taliban-regering gedaan verzoek  aan de Amerikaanse president Bush, tot het leveren van bewijzen voor eventuele schuld van Bin Laden te overleggen [ivm met de door president Bush geëiste uitlevering van bin Laden aan de VS], werd  afgewezen.  

Hierdoor rees op zijn zachtst gezegd het vermoeden, dat gefundeerde bewijzen ontbraken.  

Deze indruk werd nog bevestigd door de stelselmatige weigering van de toenmalige Nederlandse premier Kok, zowel aan het Parlement als de fractievoorzitters van de grote partijen inzage te geven in het aan de NAVO-ministers overhandigde Amerikaanse bewijsmateriaal.

Fundamenteel is echter, dat bij de opsporing van eventuele verantwoordelijken voor een aanslag, slechts juridische middelen dienen te worden ingezet en dat een oorlog, die naar alle waarschijnlijkheid onschuldigen treft, een zowel humanitair als internationaal-rechtelijk onacceptabel middel is.

Aanval op Afghanistan:

Mensenrechtenschendingen en oorlogsmisdaden:

De feitelijke Brits-Amerikaanse aanval op Afghanistan is gepaard gegaan met een groot aantal mensenrechtenschendingen en oorlogsmisdaden, zowel betreffende de wapenkeuze als directe militaire handelingen

a Wapenkeuze:
Gebruik van clusterbommen:

Een van de grondregels van het Internationaal Humanitair Oorlogsrecht is, dat er, door alle conflictspartijen, te allen tijde onderscheid gemaakt dient te worden tussen combattanten [militairen en strijders] en non-combattanten [burgers]. Dit geldt zowel voor directe militaire handelingen als het gebruik van de wapens, die beperkt dienen te blijven tot precisiewapens.

Een clusterbom echter is een  bom, die ongeveer 200 bommetjes uitspuugt, die over een groot gebied kunnen exploderen. Het moge evident zijn, dat het risico, dat hierbij burgers worden getroffen, levensgroot is. Bovendien kan een clusterbom zich bij niet ontploffing ontwikkelen tot landmijnen, waardoor nog jaren na de beëindiging van een oorlog, burgerslachtoffers kunnnen vallen. Met name spelende kinderen zijn hiervan vaak het slachtoffer. Volgens het Verdrag van Ottawa is het gebruik van landmijnen verboden. [4]

Ten gevolge van dit gebruik van clusterbommen zijn er naar schatting, tussen de 1000 tot 4000 Afghaanse burgerdoden gevallen, in een periode van twee maanden. [5]

b Andere directe militaire handelingen:

Bovendien hebben de Brits-Amerikaanse troepen zich eveneens schuldig gemaakt aan buitengerechtelijke executies van echte of vermeende Al Qaeda en Taliban-aanhangers en was er sprake van gedoging van ernstige mensenrechtenschendingen en oorlogsmisdaden door de ”bondgenoot”, de Noordelijke Alliantie.

Een door Amnesty en Human Rights Watch geëist onderzoek naar een aantal echte of vermeende mensenrechtenschendingen, zoals tijdens de gevangenisopstand in Masar Al Sharif, waarbij sprake was van directe militaire Brits-Amerikaanse betrokkenheid, werd door de Brits-Amerikaanse autoriteiten afgewezen

c Mensenrechtenschendingen:

Behandeling gevangenen:

Eveneens was en is er sprake van martelingen en mishandelingen van krijgsgevangenen, o.a. in gevangenkampen als Kandahar en Guantanamo Bay. Daarnaast is er eveneens sprake van detentie zonder vorm van proces. Het bekendste voorbeeld is Guantanamo Bay, maar ook in andere Amerikaanse gevangenkampen in Afghanistan, was en is daarvan sprake.

NA DE OORLOG:

Nieuwe Afghaanse regering

Evident is, dat de Taliban-regering zich tijdens haar machtsperiode schuldig heeft gemaakt aan ernstige mensenrechtenschendingen. Echter,  bij de na de nederlaag van de Taliban aangetreden regeringen, was al evenmin sprake van de handhaving van de mensenrechten

Vrouwenonderdrukking werd gecontinueerd, er was in een groot deel van het land sprake van ernstige schendingen van mensenrechten van gevangenen, alsmede het schieten op ongewapende demonstranten, in enkele gevallen met dodelijk gevolg.

Veiligheid Afghanistan?

Ook de door de vanaf 2002 in Afghanistan aanwezige als vredesmacht betitelde  ISAF nagestreefde ”veiligheid” van Afghanistan, kan en kon niet worden gegarandeerd. Zo vinden ondanks het door buitenlandse troepen zwaarbewaakte Kaboel met regelmaat door groeperingen van verschillende politieke pluimage aanslagen plaats.
In o.a..het midden en Westen van Afghanistan is  sprake van een hevige strijd tussen krijgsheren van verschillende al dan niet politieke origine  [soms pro-Taliban, soms pro-Noordelijke Alliantie, soms maffiosi] en in het Zuiden strijden de Brits-Amerikaanse [en Canadese en Nederlandse] troepen tegen het Taliban-verzet.

De situatie voor de Afghaanse bevolking zo onveilig, dat zelfs het reizen tussen twee steden moeilijk, zo niet onmogelijk is, op straffe  te worden overvallen door  struikrovers en plaatselijke illegale ”tolheffers” [onder het mom, ”tol” te moeten betalen, worden reizigers beroofd].

DE NEDERLANDSE MILITAIRE AANWEZIGHEID IN AFGHANISTAN

Voorgeschiedenis:

Hoewel bij de huidige ”Uzurgan-missie” sprake is van de grootste Nederlandse militaire inbreng in Afghanistan, waren de Nederlanders reeds in 2002 actief in de door de NATO geleide  ISAF troepenmacht”, waarover in de beginfase  Nederland en Duitsland het bevel voerden.

URUZGAN MISSIE

Echt actief werd Nederland echter pas na de dd 2-2-2006 door de Tweede Kamer goedgekeurde ”Uzurgan–missie”, waarbij Nederlandse militairen werden uitgezonden naar de zuidelijke Afghaanse provincie Uzurgan, waar een hevige strijd woedde en nog woedt tussen de Brits-Amerikaanse troepen [later terzijde gestaan door de Canadezen] enerzijds en het Taliban-verzet anderszijds.

a Discussie over ”missie” uitzending

Groot in eigenbelang, klein in mensenrechten en principiële keuzes.

Voorafgaande aan de Nederlandse troepenuitzending naar Uzurgan heeft een stevige parlementaire discussie plaatsgevonden tussen voor en tegenstanders. Opvallend echter was, dat er hierbij geen sprake was van een principiële discussie, maar dat deze veelal werd bepaald door pragmatische argumenten.

Veiligheid Nederlandse militairen

Zo liet vooral de links-liberale partij D’66 zich leiden door het wellicht zeer gevaarlijke karakter van deze ”missie”. Op zich een merkwaardig argument, aangezien er niet alleen sprake was van goed getrainde militairen, die zelf voor de professie van militair gekozen hadden, maar vanzelfsprekend de uitzending naar ieder oorlogsgebied, of het nu Uruzgan of een ander gebied is, gevaarlijk is.

Zorgwekkender is echter, dat de Nederlandse politiek gespeend was van iedere reflectie over het feit, dat militaire deelname aan de Amerikaanse oorlogshandelingen direct impliceert de ondersteuning van een bezettende macht. Hierbij werden de Nederlandse troepen, of zij nu de bevolking met de zogenaamde ”Dutch approach” tegemoet traden of niet, automatisch  politiek en moreel medeverantwoordelijk voor de Amerikaanse bezetting van Afghanistan.

Het is dan ook verwonderlijk, dat er in de Nederlandse media wordt gesproken van ”aanslagen” tegen de Nederlandse troepenmacht, aangezien internationaalrechtelijk gezien  iedere Afghaanse politieke groepering, dus ook de Taliban, gerechtigd is, zich te verzetten tegen het leger van een bezettende macht, alsmede legers van de haar ondersteunende bondgenoten, in casu Nederland.

Het gebruik van de terminologie ”wederopbouw” is dan ook niet alleen eufemistisch, maar ook misleidend, aangezien Nederland, als trouwe bondgenootvazal van de Verenigde Staten, als taak heeft het verzet tegen de buitenlandse troepen neer te slaan.

B Verzet tegen uitlevering gevangenen aan de VS:

Hoewel er dus geen sprake is geweest van een principieel parlementair verzet  tegen de rol van Nederland als verlengstuk van de Amerikaanse bezettende macht, is er wel, met name door de Nederlandse links-progressieve partijen, bezorgdheid uitgesproken over een mogelijke uitlevering van krijgsgevangenen  aan de VS [in verband met mogelijke detentie in Guantanamo Bay].

C Memorandum of Misunderstanding?

Dienaangaande is de  Nederlandse regering met de Afghaanse regering het zogenaamde Memorandum of Understanding overeengekomen, dat echter in de praktijk geen harde garanties geeft ter voorkoming van uitlevering van gevangenen. Overeengekomen is namelijk slechts, dat de Afghaanse autoriteiten de Nederlandse ambassade in Kaboel op de hoogte stellen, wanneer een gevangene aan de VS wordt overgedragen. Mensenrechtenschendingen door de VS kunnen hierdoor niet worden voorkomen. Bovendien kan de overeenkomst eenzijdig en zonder opgaaf van redenen, met een opzegtermijn van 30 dagen, worden beëindigd.

Het enige, dat wel is bedongen is, dat aan de Afghanen uitgeleverde gevangenen niet zullen worden geëxecuteerd, aangezien Nederland, comform het EU-standpunt, tegen de doodstraf is

Terecht heeft Amnesty International deze overeenkomst betiteld als ”The Memorandum of Misunderstanding”. [6]

D Nonchalante Nederlandse houding tav uitlevering gevangenen, ondanks mogelijke mishandeling:

Naar aanleiding van recente berichtgeving, dat de Afghaanse autoriteiten zich schuldig zouden hebben gemaakt aan marteling van gevangenen, heeft  Canada de uitlevering van krijgsgevangenen gestopt. Aangezien Nederland de uitlevering continueert, is zij wellicht schuldig aan medeverantwoordelijkheid voor foltering.

Hoewel Nederland als verdediging aanvoert de situatie van Afghaanse gevangenen regelmatig via diverse kanalen te controleren, dient mijns inziens bij dergelijke berichten geen enkel risico genomen te worden en de uitlevering te worden gestopt, omdat alle humanitair en internationaal-rechtelijk alle voorzorgen dienen te worden genomen om martelingen en mensenrechtenschendingen te voorkomen. [7]

Bovendien heeft Amnesty haar ernstige twijfels tav een adequate monitoring, door landen, die gevangenen hebben overgedragen aan de Afghaanse autoriteiten.
 
Zo zegt zij letterlijk mbt Britse en Nederlandse monitoring:
 
”The British and Dutch governments have informed AI that they have transferred detainees to Afghan authorities in these provinces. Both governments have stated that they try to ensure that their own officials monitor the detainees, in the British case on a monthly basis. However, as outlined later in the report, because of the prevailing security situation, independent monitoring of transferred detainees by the AIHRC and the ICRC is almost impossible. In this situation, while ISAF states have carried out occasional monitoring of transferred detainees, AI remains concerned that this cannot substitute for regular, independent monitoring.” [8]

Onlangs heeft Amnesty in een persbericht een oproep gedaan aan alle ISAF landen, de uitlevering van gevangenen aan de Afghaanse autoriteiten te stoppen [9]

E Afghaanse burgerdoden door Nederlandse militaire acties 

Slag bij Chora

Ook betreffende Nederlandse militaire handelingen in Uzurgan zijn er redenen tot zorg over de naleving van het Oorlogsrecht. Universeel is immers het principe, dat bij iedere militaire actie, een strikt onderscheid gemaakt dient te worden tussen combattanten en non-combattanten.

Bij een gezamenljke Nederlandse en ISAF militaire actie dd  juni 2007 zijn er echter meer dan 50 Afghaanse burgers om het leven gekomen, waarbij Nederland een omstreden pantserhouwitser heeft ingezet en de ISAF zwaar luchtgeschut, hetgeen sowieso buitenproportioneel is in een burgergebied. Eveneens zouden de Taliban zich aan oorlogsmisdaden hebben schuldig gemaakt.

Hoewel aanvankelijk door het Nederlandse Ministerie van Defensie aan de Tweede Kamer werd bericht, dat de meeste burgerdoden waren veroorzaakt door het optreden van de Taliban, werd dit later tegengesproken door een VN rapport [welks conclusie door Defensie werd verzwegen], dat juist stelde, dat de meeste burgerdoden door het Nederlandse vuur was veroorzaakt. [10]

Eveneens bekritiseerde de bevelhebber van ISAF in Kabul, de Amerikaanse generaal Dan MacNeill,  de Nederlanders vanwege de inzet van de  pantserhouwitser,zonder dat er een waarnemer in de frontlinies aanwezig was die kon zien waar de granaten terecht kwamen. [11]

Vast staat in ieder geval, dat o.a. door het optreden van de Nederlandse en ISAF militairen, een zo groot aantal doden is veroorzaakt, waarover de Afghaanse president Karzai zich  terecht zeer fel uitliet. [12]

Overigens zijn er ook voor dit Nederlandse militaire optreden verschillende klachten gekomen over mishandeling van gevangenen door Nederlandse troepen. Onderzoeksjournalist A. Karskens heeft ook een kritisch artikel over het Nederlandse optreden geschreven. [13]

Epiloog

Resumerend kan gesteld worden, dat er geen sprake is van een Nederlandse bijdrage aan de ”wederopbouw” van Afghanistan, maar van een militaire ondersteuning van de Amerikaanse bezettingsmacht, waarbij eveneens sprake is geweest van een aantal vermoedelijke schendingen van het oorlogsrecht.

Hoewel de Taliban geen aantrekkelijk toekomstig regeerperspectief is, is het haar niet alleen internationaal-rechtelijk gelegitimeerd, zich te verzetten tegen de buitenlandse bezettingstroepen, maar is het alleen aan de bevolking van Afghanistan, de door haar gewenste Staatsvorm te kiezen. Volgens het VN Handvest heeft zij het zelfbeschikkingsrecht,  net als alle andere volkeren ter wereld.

Wanneer dit niet wordt gerespecteerd door de buitenlandse bezettingstroepen en zij weigeren, zich terug te trekken, zal het verzet worden gecontinueerd en zal de ISAF, evenals de voormalige Russische bezettingsmacht leren, dat wie wind zaait, storm zal oogsten

(Uitpers, nr 95, 9de jg., maart 2008)

[1] http://www.nu.nl/news/1439849/24/Nederland_doet_mee_aan_nieuw_offensief_tegen_Taliban_(video).html

[2] Nederlandse oorlogspropaganda
 Zie http://www.boekje-pienter.nl/html/uruzgan.htm#uruzgan-intro

[3] http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oorlog_in_Afghanistan

[4]  http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/d111fff4b9c85b0f41256585003caec3?OpenDocument

[5] http://stopusa.be/scripts/texte.php?section=BY&langue=2&id=10745

[6] http://www.amnesty.nl/wereldnieuws_artikel/4365

[7] http://www.depers.nl/buitenland/164938/Afghanen-martelen-gevangenen.html

[8] Rapport Amnesty tav marteling gevangenen, door de Afghaanse opsporings of detentieautoriteiten, na overdracht door ISAF troepen
 
http://stoptorture.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA11/011/2007/8e83423e-a2d6-11dc-8d74-6f45f39984e5/asa110112007en.html#1.Introduction|outline

[9] Oproep Ammesty aan de landen, die deelnemen aan de ISAF ”vredes” macht, geen gevangenen over te dragen aan de Afghaanse autoriteiten vanwege folteringsrisico
 
Zie
 http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/afghanistan-stop-transfer-detainees-20080207

[10] Artikel de heer Ruyssenaers, journalist en buitenland correspondent

http://antwerpen.indymedia.org/news/2007/10/12829.php

VN rapport

http://www.trouw.nl/redactie/doc/chora.pdf

 Trouw artikel

http://www.trouw.nl/hetnieuws/nederland/article822759.ece/VN_Burgerdoden_door_Nederlands_vuur

[11]http://www.wereldomroep.nl/actua/dossier/dossieruruzgan/071018choraophef

[12] http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_kmafp/is_200706/ai_n19314893

[13] http://www.arnoldkarskens.com/data/artikelen/NieuweRevu2007nr08.pdf

[14] Aanklacht advocatenkantoor Stelling, Olof en Steijnen tegen de Nederlandse Staat vanwege de schending van het OOrlogsrecht

http://www.omslag.nl/artikel/hofa//

EINDE ARTIKEL
NOTEN, BEHORENDE BIJ ”INLEIDING”

[1]
APNEWS.COMTALIBAN SWEEP INTO AFGHAN CAPITAL AFTER GOVERNMENT
COLLAPSES
https://apnews.com/article/afghanistan-taliban-kabul-bagram-e1ed33fe0c665ee67ba132c51b8e32a5

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signaling the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country.

Heavily armed Taliban fighters fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman and negotiator, told The Associated Press that the militants would hold talks in the coming days aimed at forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government.”

Earlier, a Taliban official said the group would announce from the palace the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the formal name of the country under Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by U.S.-led forces in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by al-Qaida while it was being sheltered by the Taliban. But that plan appeared to be on hold.

Kabul was gripped by panic. Helicopters raced overhead throughout the day to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents, and the American flag was lowered. Several other Western missions also prepared to pull their people out.

Fearful that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights, Afghans rushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings. The desperately poor — who had left homes in the countryside for the presumed safety of the capital — remained in parks and open spaces throughout the city.

Though the Taliban had promised a peaceful transition, the U.S. Embassy suspended operations and warned Americans late in the day to shelter in place and not try to get to the airport.

Commercial flights were suspended after sporadic gunfire erupted at the Kabul airport, according to two senior U.S. military officials. Evacuations continued on military flights, but the halt to commercial traffic closed off one of the last routes available for fleeing Afghans.

Dozens of nations called on all parties involved to respect and facilitate the departure of foreigners and Afghans who wish to leave.

More than 60 nations released the joint statement distributed by the U.S. State Department late Sunday night Washington time. The statement says that those in power and authority across Afghanistan “bear responsibility — and accountability — for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order.”

The nations’ statement also says that roads, airports and border crossings must remain open, and that calm must be maintained.

Many people watched in disbelief as helicopters landed in the U.S. Embassy compound to take diplomats to a new outpost at the airport. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected comparisons to the U.S. pullout from Vietnam.

“This is manifestly not Saigon,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The American ambassador was among those evacuated, officials said. He was asking to return to the embassy, but it was not clear if he would be allowed to. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations.

As the insurgents closed in, President Ashraf Ghani flew out of the country.

“The former president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the country in this difficult situation,” said Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Afghan National Reconciliation Council and a longtime rival of Ghani. “God should hold him accountable.”

Ghani later posted on Facebook that he left to avert bloodshed in the capital, without saying where he had gone.

As night fell, Taliban fighters deployed across Kabul, taking over abandoned police posts and pledging to maintain law and order during the transition. Residents reported looting in parts of the city, including in the upscale diplomatic district, and messages circulating on social media advised people to stay inside and lock their gates.

In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and NATO over nearly 20 years to build up Afghan security forces. Just days earlier, an American military assessment estimated that the capital would not come under insurgent pressure for a month.

The fall of Kabul marks the final chapter of America’s longest war, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. A U.S.-led invasion dislodged the Taliban and beat them back, but America lost focus on the conflict in the chaos of the Iraq war.

For years, the U.S. sought an exit from Afghanistan. Then-President Donald Trump signed a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 that limited direct military action against the insurgents. That allowed the fighters to gather strength and move quickly to seize key areas when President Joe Biden announced his plans to withdraw all American forces by the end of this month.

After the insurgents entered Kabul, Taliban negotiators discussed a transfer of power, said an Afghan official. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the closed-door negotiations, described them as “tense.”

It remained unclear when that transfer would take place and who among the Taliban was negotiating. The negotiators on the government side included former President Hamid Karzai, leader of Hizb-e-Islami political and paramilitary group Gulbudin Hekmatyar, and Abdullah, who has been a vocal critic of Ghani.

Karzai himself appeared in a video posted online, his three young daughters around him, saying he remained in Kabul.

“We are trying to solve the issue of Afghanistan with the Taliban leadership peacefully,” he said.

Afghanistan’s acting defense minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, did not hold back his criticism of the fleeing president.

“They tied our hands from behind and sold the country,” he wrote on Twitter. “Curse Ghani and his gang.”

The Taliban earlier insisted that their fighters would not enter people’s homes or interfere with businesses and said they would offer “amnesty” to those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.

But there have been reports of revenge killings and other brutal tactics in areas of the country the Taliban have seized in recent days. Reports of gunfire at the airport raised the specter of more violence. One female journalist, weeping, sent voice messages to colleagues after armed men entered her apartment building and banged on her door.

“What should I do? Should I call the police or Taliban?” Getee Azami cried. It wasn’t clear what happened to her after that.

An Afghan university student described feeling betrayed as she watched the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy.

“You failed the younger generation of Afghanistan,” said Aisha Khurram, 22, who is now unsure of whether she will be able to graduate in two months. She said her generation was “hoping to build the country with their own hands. They put blood, efforts and sweat into whatever we had right now.”

Sunday began with the Taliban seizing Jalalabad, the last major city besides the capital not in their hands. Afghan officials said the militants also took the capitals of Maidan Wardak, Khost, Kapisa and Parwan provinces, as well as the country’s last government-held border post.

Later, Afghan forces at Bagram Air Base, home to a prison housing 5,000 inmates, surrendered to the Taliban, according to Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi. The prison at the former U.S. base held both Taliban and Islamic State group fighters.

END OF THE ARTICLE

[2]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

HOW US FUNDED ABUSES LED TO FAILURE

IN AFGHANISTAN

6 JULY 2021

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/06/how-us-funded-abuses-led-failure-afghanistan

As U.S. forces continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan, postmortems on the 20-year U.S.-led military intervention are underway. Predictably, many in the U.S. national security establishment are rehashing old debates about the conflict and what could have led to “victory” – more troops, looser rules of engagement, or more freedom to choose military targets. These arguments – uncannily similar to those made after the U.S. war in Vietnam – grievously devalue the devastating consequences of the war for Afghans — civilians and fighters alike.

The primary and defining characteristic of the armed conflict in Afghanistan over the last two decades has been harm to civilians caused by massive human rights abuses and war crimes by all sides. These rampant abuses have in turn fueled the cycle of conflict in numerous ways, including by inspiring recruitment to the insurgency, rendering political dialogue nearly impossible, and undermining efforts to promote stability through better governance. Successive U.S. administrations have largely perceived human rights more as an obstacle than as an essential component of addressing Afghanistan’s problems. This approach has been catastrophic.

I have spent much of these past 20 years talking to Afghans about the consequences of counterterrorism gone wrong – the civilian deaths and injuries that never made it into the Pentagon’s airstrike death count; the night raids that turned into summary executions targeting people who had the bad luck to live in a contested district; the torture of people in custody that destroyed lives and motivated revenge. I have also talked to many Afghans about the unforeseen consequences of these actions – the Taliban resurgence abetted by Afghan government abuses and corruption; the grievances and disillusionment that drove people to lose faith that post-2001 Afghanistan would be better; and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan, an offspring of Pakistan pandering to Islamist extremism and Afghan warlords’ mis-governance in Afghanistan’s east.

The ground for what went wrong was laid early, long before the Taliban re-emerged, through squandered opportunities and the obliviousness or apathy of U.S. generals about atrocities being committed by Afghan forces, the U.S. military, and CIA units. Safe havens provided by Pakistan certainly helped pave the way for the Taliban’s return. But far too little attention has been given to what the United States did – and failed to do – in the years since 2001, and how U.S. decisions and policies essentially set the stage for failure.

Counterproductive Partnerships

Throughout, U.S. policy was guided by a number of myths. One was that the Afghan strongmen, warlords, and militia commanders the United States chose as allies in ousting the Taliban could help to provide security and stability, despite their records of abuses. In fact, the opposite proved to be the case. Persistent human rights abuses by warlords were a source of insecurity, and worse, over time, they fueled widespread resentment, undermined efforts to foster good governance at the local and national levels, and helped the Taliban obtain new support and recruits.

In late 2001, after Northern Alliance forces ousted the Taliban from the north, their militias – some led by men holding office today – carried out systematic attacks on Pashtun villages, raping women, summarily executing civilians, and stealing livestock and land. (Such attacks occurred as late as 2016, when militia forces under the former vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, terrorized Pashtun villages in Faryab, accusing them of supporting the Taliban.) The United States was inevitably linked to the abuses of its allies: In November 2001, Dostum’s forces massacred as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners who were captured or had surrendered outside Kunduz. I visited the mass grave – littered with human hair and clothes – in February 2002, and later interviewed a survivor who had hidden, wounded, under a pile of bodies and escaped before the bulldozers came to bury the bodies. (The area, called Dasht-e Laili, has thousands of graves, including those of Hazara victims massacred by the Taliban in 1998, and Taliban prisoners killed by a Dostum rival in 1997). The United Nations initially refused to support a full investigation, and the United States rejected calls to protect the site. By 2006, local militias had destroyed the gravesite. But the Taliban and the families of those killed have not forgotten.

War crimes against Taliban prisoners also occurred in the south. In early 2002, former Taliban wrote to the new Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, offering to lay down arms and recognize the government. Instead, Gul Agha Sherzai, a powerful tribal leader the United States embraced, later accused of corruption, had them imprisoned and tortured by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the intelligence agency created by the CIA in the months after the Taliban’s collapse. Others accused of Taliban links – whether true or not – also died under torture in NDS prisons or at CIA black sites. Some ended up at Guantanamo Bay. A number who were released or escaped later remobilized and helped lead the Taliban resurgence.

By 2005, Taliban forces were gaining ground and carrying out their own wave of atrocities. Suicide bombings – a new phenomenon for Afghanistan apparently adopted from the war in Iraq – emerged in 2005 with a wave of attacks targeting civilians. Human Rights Watch also documented increasing Taliban attacks on girls’ schools and assassinations of civilian officials.

At this time, another problematic U.S. ally came to prominence. Assadullah Khalid, now Minister of Defense, an important CIA contact after 2001 who was accused of sexual assault while governor of Ghazni, was named governor of Kandahar where he oversaw secret torture cells. A protegé of Khalid and Sherzai, Abdul Raziq, became head of the Kandahar border police, and later chief of police. He gained the support of NATO – who cared more about how his police could protect their forces than about Raziq’s litany of atrocities, including hundreds of enforced disappearances and torture of tribal rivals, civilians, and detainees. With high-level support by the United States and other NATO countries, Raziq escaped justice for his abuses. The Taliban killed him in 2018.

Sherzai became governor of Nangarhar, where he allied with local tribal leaders engaged in land grabbing. The infighting that followed created a vacuum exploited by militant groups from neighboring Pakistan, some of whom later proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State in 2015. (The Islamic State of Khorasan Province, as it calls itself, has been weakened, but is believed responsible for a series of recent massacres of Hazaras, most recently targeting staff of the HALO Trust, a charity that has been clearing landmine in Afghanistan for decades, on June 9. That day, gunmen, who killed 10 and injured 17, demanded to know who among the deminers were Hazara.)

Abuses by warlords and security officials like Dostum, Sherzai, Khalid, and Raziq did not stop the Taliban from gaining ground or definitively weaken their forces. While it could be argued that the Taliban would have reemerged regardless, there is no doubt these widespread abuses provided fertile ground for new recruitment and alienated local communities caught between predatory U.S.-backed forces and the Taliban.

Civilian Casualties Undermine Public Support

As the fighting between the Taliban threatened more of Afghanistan after 2006, U.S. air operations expanded.

There’s a popular perception that except for an occasional mistake, civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes are rare. Some civilian casualties were the result of deliberate misinformation provided by Afghan leaders to target rivals, like the December 23, 2001, airstrike that killed some 65 elders traveling to Kabul for Karzai’s inauguration. Despite evidence to the contrary, U.S. officials claimed for months the elders were al-Qaeda members. But it remains publicly unclear what led to mass civilian casualties in other strikes over the years, since the U.S. military has so often refused to release complete information about its investigations, even in cases with as many as 90 dead. For example, in Gardez in December 2003, when a US A-10 Warthog aircraft gunned down nine children in broad daylight. Or the massive sustained airstrikes in 2009, in western Farah province, that killed almost 100 civilians – mostly children – some of whom were blown into unrecognizable pieces.

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan from U.S. and NATO airstrikes jumped in 2007 and rose to over 500 in 2008. The deaths and injuries – plus poor investigations and infrequent condolence payments – caused such a public backlash that U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal ordered new directives to reduce civilian casualties. Numbers dropped. But after the withdrawal of most NATO forces in December 2014, the Taliban made new gains on the battlefield. The desperate effort to oust Taliban forces from Kunduz city, which briefly fell to the Taliban in late September 2015, led to the shocking U.S. gunship attack on a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital, which killed 42 patients, doctors, and other medical staff. The mistaken targeting was likely due to misinformation from Afghan government ground forces, and it cast a long shadow over U.S. claims that only insurgent forces were being targeted.

After that, civilian casualties from airstrikes soared as the Trump administration vastly increased air operations while removing directives prohibiting strikes on residential buildings and loosening rules on targeting. Between 2016 and 2020, 40 percent of all civilian casualties from U.S. and Afghan government airstrikes in Afghanistan – almost 1,600 – were children. In mid-2019, civilian casualties caused by Afghan government and U.S. forces briefly surpassed those carried out by the Taliban and Islamic State.

There is no question airstrikes significantly weakened Taliban forces (and decimated much of the Islamic State’s strongholds in Nangarhar), and no question that the Taliban’s own atrocities in urban areas increased, as Human Rights Watch documented in a 2018 report. But the psychological impact of so many civilian deaths and injuries from air operations, and the terror in rural Afghanistan inspired by the constant raids and special operations, may have done far greater damage in undermining support for the Afghan government than any military advantage gained.

Facing the Legacy of 20 Years of War

Air operations were only part of it. Today, Australia is grappling with the fallout of serious allegations about a pattern of potential war crimes its special forces committed during raids in Uruzgan province that included murdering children, kicking detainees off cliffs, and planting weapons on men whom they had summarily executed. The alleged crimes echo those of U.S. special forces, including the never-prosecuted 2012 murders of 17 civilians who were detained and tortured to death in Nerkh district. Afghan victims of such crimes never saw justice – which is why the International Criminal Court has sought an investigation into crimes by all parties to the conflict, including the U.S. military and CIA, as well as the Taliban and Afghan government forces. The U.S. response has been to reject the ICC’s jurisdiction and try to shut down any investigation.

It is also true that in these 20 years, Afghanistan saw progress in many areas. Since 2002, in cities under Afghan government control, millions of Afghan girls have gone to school and Afghan women have participated in public life, including holding political office, in greater numbers than ever before. In government-controlled areas, Afghan media play an active role in providing a forum for public debate, while also risking threats and violence from officials, security forces, government-backed militias, and increasingly the Taliban.

But these gains are fragile and limited and were achieved against a background of tremendous violence and abuse. In these 20 years, the propensity of the United States to prioritize short-term military gains over the creation of genuinely democratic institutions and the protection of human rights fatally undermined both the U.S. mission and the entire post-2001 State-building effort. Overreliance on airstrikes without adequate civilian protections, relying on abusive warlords to fill security and political leadership roles, and largely ignoring wholesale corruption and rights violations, fostered deep resentment and distrust of the U.S. and Afghan governments, grievously weakened Afghanistan’s military and political capacities, and made it far easier for the Taliban to gain ground.

As U.S. policymakers debate a new US posture toward Afghanistan, they should try to understand the true history of these last two decades and recognize that their mistakes were not in matters of troop numbers, rules of engagement, or military strategy or tactics. Instead, the mistakes were rooted in a basic failure to recognize that corruption and widespread human rights abuses – both by U.S. and Afghan government forces – sabotaged the overall enterprise. If the U.S. government does not learn from this history, it will find itself embracing policies – whether in Afghanistan now or elsewhere in the future – that repeat the same mistakes.

END OF THE ARTICLEREPORT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHPAYING FOR THE TALIBAN’S CRIMESABUSES AGAINST ETHNIC PASHTUNS IN NORTHERN AFGHANISTANAPRIL 2002
https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/afghan2/index.htm#TopOfPage
”Since the collapse of the Taliban regime in northern Afghanistan in November 2001, ethnic Pashtuns throughout northern Afghanistan have faced widespread abuses including killings, sexual violence, beatings, extortion, and looting. Pashtuns are being targeted because their ethnic group was closely associated with the Taliban regime, whose leadership consisted mostly of Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan.”
SUMMARY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTPAYING FOR THE TALIBAN’S CRIMESABUSES AGAINST ETHNIC PASHTUNS IN NORTHERN AFGHANISTANAPRIL 2002
https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/afghan2/afghan0402.htm

SEE FOR ORIGINAL REPORT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/afghan2/index.htm#TopOfPage

BBCCIA BACKED AFGHAN TROOPS ”COMMITTED WARCRIMES”: REPORT
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50236357

Afghan strike forces backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have committed abuses “amounting to war crimes”, according to a new report.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleges the troops “committed summary executions and other grave abuses without accountability”.

These include extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and attacks on healthcare facilities.

Afghanistan’s government told the BBC the current situation was unacceptable.

Disputing the report, the CIA said its covert operations were carried out in “accordance with law and under a robust system of oversight”.

This latest report comes after peace talks between the US and the Taliban collapsed in September.

‘I found my house was rubble’

Two Afghan men from Maidan Wardak province spoke to the BBC about alleged US-backed raids on their home.

One man named Masihurahman said he lost 12 members of his family, including his wife, four daughters and three sons, when a “huge bomb” was dropped on his village.

Another man, Wahidullah, said troops broke into his home and dragged him and his family out. He said they took them to the top of a mountain, where Americans “gave them the order” to carry out killings.

What does the HRW report say?

HRW’s report is based on interviews with dozens of local residents and witnesses to raids throughout Afghanistan, as well as local human rights groups. In full, it is titled: “They’ve shot many like this: Abusive night raids by CIA-backed Afghan strike forces”.

Seen by the BBC before its release on Thursday, the report documents 14 individual cases between late 2017 and mid-2019 in which CIA-backed Afghan strike forces allegedly committed abuses.

Forces conducted night raids, in which they dragged people out of their homes without prior warning. Among the allegations are claims they targeted medical staff who treated militants in contested or Taliban-controlled areas, and summarily executed or “forcibly disappeared” people in custody.

Moreover, the troops “seem to have unlawfully targeted civilians because of mistaken identity, poor intelligence, or political rivalries in the locality”. Civilian casualties from these raids have dramatically increased in the past two years, the report says.

“They are illustrative of a larger pattern of serious laws-of-war violations – some amounting to war crimes – that extends to all provinces in Afghanistan where these paramilitary forces operate with impunity,” it adds.

According to the report, the CIA has run counter-terrorism operations separate from the US military since 2001. It continues to recruit, arm, train and deploy paramilitary groups to tackle militants across the country, which one diplomat in the report referred to as “death squads”.

Since 2017, the US authorised these groups to call in air strikes even without US forces present, which HRW says has led to more strikes on residential buildings.

HRW has called on the Afghan government to immediately disband all pro-government armed groups and strike forces, fully investigate the allegations, end attacks on medical facilities and provide compensation to civilian victims.

What response has there been?

A spokesman for the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, told the BBC the government was taking the allegations in the report seriously.

Separately, Afghanistan’s Office of the National Security Council said the HRW report “reflected some realities”, but stressed there was “some information that requires clarification”.

“We are undertaking further reform initiatives to enable us to deal with these issues,” the office said.

In a statement, the CIA rejected the HRW report, suggesting many of the allegations were “likely false or exaggerated”.

“We neither condone nor would knowingly participate in illegal activities, and we continually work with our foreign partners to promote adherence to the law,” the CIA said.

What other allegations are there?

The New York Times published a report on the alleged abuses of these strike forces in December 2018.

According to the article, these CIA-backed forces have worked “unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians”, which has undercut US attempts to strengthen Afghanistan’s government and institutions.

One official quoted in the New York Times also “bluntly” accused the groups of war crimes.

In April 2019, the UN published a report showing for the first time civilian deaths by pro-government forces outstripping those by militants in the first quarter of the year.

Their report also highlights strike forces backed by “international military forces”, reiterating its concern that these groups “appear to act with impunity, outside of the governmental chain of command”.

What’s the latest with peace talks?

Hundreds of thousands have died in Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001, including tens of thousands of civilians.

US President Donald Trump seemed close to a deal with the Taliban in September. But the president abruptly called off peace talks after the militants admitted killing a US soldier.

The Taliban told the BBC their “doors are open” should he wish to resume negotiations. The group has refused to hold talks with Afghanistan’s government until a US deal is agreed, as they do not recognise its legitimacy.

END OF THE ARTICLE
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT”THEY’VE SHOT MANY LIKE THIS”ABUSIVE NIGHT RAIDS BY CIA BACKED AFGHAN STRIKE FORCES19 OCTOBER 2019
https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/10/31/theyve-shot-many/abusive-night-raids-cia-backed-afghan-strike-forces

[3]

VN AV Resolutie:2649
 Affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal;
2. Recognizes the right of peoples under colonial and alien domination in the legitimate exercise of their right to self-determination to seek and receive all kinds of moral and material assistance, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations and the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations;”

https://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/14DA6ECEAD5F088A8525630A0072450D

[4]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHAFGHANISTAN: ADVANCING TALIBAN EXECUTE DETAINEES3 AUGUST 2021
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/08/03/afghanistan-advancing-taliban-execute-detainees

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHAFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN FORCIBLY DISPLACE CIVILIANS7 JULY 2021
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/07/07/afghanistan-taliban-forcibly-displace-civilians

[5]
AL JAZEERATRANSCRIPT OF TALIBAN’S FIRST NEWS CONFERENCEIN KABUL17 AUGUST 2021
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/17/transcript-of-talibans-first-press-conference-in-kabul

Taliban spokesperson addresses the public in first conference following the armed group’s takeover of Afghanistan.

Following the takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban has held its first official news conference in Kabul, declaring that it wishes peaceful relations with other countries.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid promised Tuesday that the Taliban would respect women’s rights, forgive those who resisted them and ensure a secure Afghanistan as part of a publicity blitz aimed at convincing world powers and a fearful population that they have changed.

The group previously declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government, trying to calm nerves across a tense capital city that only the day before saw chaos at its airport as thousands mobbed the city’s international airport in a desperate attempt to flee.

Here is the transcript:

“We have expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation on this.

This is pride, not only for a limited number of people. This is a proud moment for the whole nation. This kind of pride is rare when it can be achieved. The whole nation, after the whole history of the nation and therefore, on the base of this I would like to congratulate the whole nation and I would like to welcome you.

Freedom and independence seeking is a legitimate right of every nation. The Afghans also use their legitimate right after 20 years of struggle for freedom and for emancipating the country from occupation, this was our right and we achieved this right.

And we would like to express our gratitude to almighty God for having brought us to this stage. I would like to thank God for giving freedom to this nation. The Islamic Emirate, after freedom of this nation is not going to [seek] revenge [on] anybody, we don’t have any grudges against anybody.

We know that we have been undergoing really challenging periods and crises, a lot of mistakes that were made that were an advantage to the occupiers. We want to make sure that Afghanistan is not the field of conflict, a battlefield of conflict anymore.

We have pardoned anyone, all those who had fought against us. We don’t want to repeat any conflict anymore again. We want to do away with the factors for conflict. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity with anybody; animosities have come to an end and we would like to live peacefully. We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.

Undoubtedly, we are at a very historical stage. Our countrymen and women who have been waiting, I would like to assure that after consultations that are going to be completed very soon, we will be witnessing the formation of a strong Islamic and inclusive government, Inshallah, God willing.  As the forces of the Islamic Emirate enter Kabul now this great development that has unfolded, we have not had any casualties. There have been some rioters who wanted to take advantage, wanted to abuse the situation, this was brought to our attention. We realised that that’s what was going on, but we want to assure the residents of Kabul for full security, for protection of their dignity and security and safety.

Security has been assured. God willing, day by day there will be more security. After ensuring the security, Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, there are embassies. The security of the embassies is very crucial, of crucial importance for us.

First, we would like to assure that the areas where there are embassies, there will be complete security. Therefore all foreign countries and your representatives, your embassies, your missions, international organisations, aid agencies, I would like to assure you that we will not allow anybody to do anything against you. Your security is assured. Our forces are there 24 hours around the clock to ensure your security, undoubtedly. We don’t want to see any kind of chaos, inconvenience in Kabul. Our plan was to stop at the gates of Kabul after capturing all other provinces, so that the transition process is completed smoothly without us entering Kabul, so that we stopped troubles and harms and damages.

But unfortunately, the previous government was so incompetent. As a result of their actions. Their security forces could not do anything to ensure security and we have to do something, we have to take responsibility. So that was the reason: the abusers and the rioters. They wanted to abuse the name of the Islamic Emirate, to enter houses, or to harass the people or to steal. So we, therefore, instructed our forces to enter Kabul to ensure, to stop all this and to ensure security.

So we had to do this to enter Kabul to stop those criminals and abusers, so that we ensure the safety and security of the people and the resistance of Kabul. Therefore, the residents should be assured that your security is guaranteed.

In the same way, when it comes to the kind of circumstances I would like to ensure, I would like to assure the international community, including the United States that nobody will be a harmed in Afghanistan. I would like to assure our neighbours, regional countries, we are not going to allow our territory to be used against anybody, any country in the world. So the whole global community should be assured that we are committed to these pledges that you will not be harmed in any way from our soil.

We would also like to request the international community that we then recognise international boundaries and interactions. We should be treated accordingly. According to this framework, we do not want to have any problem with the international community, we’d like to act on the basis of our principles of our religion, of our culture, and we have given a lot of sacrifices. We have the right to act on the basis of our religious principles and rules and regulations, it’s of the right of Afghans.

Other countries also have different rules, different policies, different viewpoints, different approaches and policies they use and different rules and regulations. In the same way, Afghans also have the right to have their own rules and regulations and policies so that their advantage from the profit of the nation of the people, so that they’re in accordance with our values, so nobody should be worried about our norms and principles.

The issue of women is very important. The Islamic Emirate is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia. Our sisters, our men have the same rights; they will be able to benefit from their rights. They can have activities in different sectors and different areas on the basis of our rules and regulations: educational, health and other areas. They are going to be working with us, shoulder to shoulder with us. The international community, if they have concerns, we would like to assure them that there’s not going to be any discrimination against women, but of course within the frameworks that we have. Our women are Muslim. They will also be happy to be living within our frameworks of Sharia.

We hope that as soon as conflict has done away with Afghanistan, we are going to build infrastructures of the economy. For this we are going to take actions for economic activities. The interactions with the international community, with other countries are going to continue. We are going to be working on our natural resources and our resources in order to revitalise our economy, for our reconstruction, for our prosperity.

Therefore the Islamic Emirate is requesting the whole international community that God willing, we can very soon, actually very quickly can change the situation, the country economically.

Every Afghan wants to improve his or her life. So, the whole community, the whole society will be active in trade, in economics, and we are committed to ensure security and after that to build our society, to serve our nation. We are the servants of the nation. Before that, the benefit of the nation, both in this world and for the next world.

Once again I would like to assure the media, we are committed to media within our cultural frameworks. Private media can continue to be free and independent, they can continue their activities – with some requests for the media.

One, is that Islam is a very important value in our country and nothing should be against Islamic values. When it comes to the activities of the media therefore, Islamic values should be taken into account when it comes to the activities of the media, when it comes to developing your programmes. Therefore, the media should be impartial. Impartiality of the media is very important. They can critique our work, so that we can improve.

So you, young in the media should also pay attention to the [inaudible] so that we can serve the nation in a better way. And you should also want to work accordingly, the same way. It’s very important that the Afghans are giving a lot of importance to their national values, national unity, national consensus. The media should not work against this national values, against national unity. When it comes to ethnic differences, religious differences and hostilities, they should not be actually promoted by the media, they should work on the country for the unity of the nation to have peaceful brotherly living together.

Once again I express my gratitude to all of you for participating in our press conference. So the names are going to be read out. I’m here to serve you. We’re going to have more press conferences. So today we have maybe less time than in the future. I just came from a trip. I just want to make sure you’re not going to wait for me. So we’ll have a lot of time to discuss in the future. The questions are going to be asked now. I’m going to answer all of the questions.

The first question is from Al Jazeera. Everybody will have a chance to ask questions. Charlotte Bellis from Al Jazeera. The question was about women’s rights. The question is, what kind of guarantee is going to be provided for ensuring women’s rights.

As I mentioned earlier, we are going to allow women to work and study within certain frameworks. Women are going to be very active in the society, but within the frameworks of Islam. Women are a key part of society and we are guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam.

The question was about interpreters and security for the interpreters. I’ve worked for the Americans, also, for the contractors. Unfortunately, I cannot hear the questions from the media.

I would like to assure all the compatriots, whether they were translators, whether they were with military activities or whether they were civilians, all of them have been important. Nobody is going to be treated with revenge. Both youth who have talents, who have grown up here, who are from this country, we don’t want them to leave. These are our assets, we would like them to stay here, to serve.

We would like to assure you that nobody is going to knock on their door to inspect them, to ask them or to interrogate them as to who they have been working for or interpreting for. So I would like to assure you that no harm is going to be [done]. They’re going to be safe.

As for the contractor that was, perhaps gone missing as reported by the media, we do not have any information about him at the moment.

[Inaudible]

I would like to assure you that in your homes nobody is going to harm you, no one is going to knock on your door, no one is going to be interrogated or chased … Those who have knocked on people’s doors to inspect their houses, this are abusers and they will be chased and investigated.

Thousands of soldiers who have fought us for 20 years, after the occupation, all of them have been pardoned. Those with families at the airport waiting, if they come back to their homes, no one is going to do anything to them; they will be safe. No one is going to inspect them there, we give them confidence.

[Question about the Taliban’s campaign of bombings – ‘Do you think the people of Afghanistan will forgive you?’]

We have fought for everybody and this is for the benefit of stability and peace in Afghanistan. All factions are fathers from A to Z.

God forbid, we haven’t done anything intentional against anybody. If during the war and conflict somebody has been harmed unintentionally then, this is one of the side effects of conflict for 20 years. A huge occupying force was defeated. This way it was impossible for us to free the country, and demand the country without injuries, without injuries, without harms, without being hurt. You know that some people have even committed suicide. Unwittingly, somebody does something like that. If somebody has been harmed as a result of these activities, these are, of course, understandable. They are side effects of war. But I would like to assure you, I’d like to guarantee that no harm inflicted on the nation has been intentional – they have been the side effects of war that have been technical problems, and other unfortunate side effects and incidents.

Next question. You know that the political situation changed in the city: robberies, and crimes started to emerge but we have to take actions to stop them. Within a short period of  time we managed to do so; we wanted to; we had to stop the instability. So, they have to be controlled. So, we have to come up with a set of actions with the different regions of the city. We will bring back complete normalcy and stability … for Afghanistan, we’ll never abuse any assets. Those for example, that are armed, they have to be disarmed.

I should be reminded that emancipating the country was a great, noble cause, to get rid of the occupiers, without which we could not form our government. So negotiations were taking place for 18 months, we had a strong team in Qatar. But then it was sabotaged. Some warmongers sabotaged it. This previous government actually announced a six-month plan for war against us, so for another six months, we were going to witness killings of our children, of our compatriots.

Our struggle was to form the Islamic government. Anyway, our fighters, our people who were involved in this struggle, we are all going to make sure that we can include all other sides and factions from all segments of the society. That’s been a struggle for those whose lives have been lost as a result of fighting for the enemy. This was their own fault. You could see that we managed to control the whole country in a matter of days, but we’re not arrogant for this.

We have instructed everyone not to enter anybody’s house, whether they’re civilians or military. There’s a huge difference between us and the previous government. When we form the government, when everybody sees their position, their place, then you will see. The kind of situations … is a kind of military situation. After formation of the government, everything will be more clear.

[Question on whether the Taliban have changed ]

This question is based on ideology and value systems. Our nation is a Muslim nation, whether it was 20 years ago, or whether it was now. But when it comes to experience and maturity and vision, of course, there’s a huge difference between us, in comparison to 20 years ago. There will be a difference when it comes to the actions we’re going to take, this has been like a evolutionary complimentary sort of process.

[Question]

Let’s talk about the law after the government is formed. They’re going to decide what kind of laws are going to be presented to the nation. This will be the due responsibility of the future governments, with the participation of all people. One thing to say – we are seriously now working on forming the government. I would like to assure you, it will be announced.

[Question]

We have all the borders under our control. There is not going to be any case of smuggling of weapons. All the weapons that are being used in fighting are going to be corrected and completed and registered. Contact consultations are being carried out soon, you will be aware of it soon.

[Question]

This question should be asked to those people who are claiming to be promoters of freedom of speech. Do not allow publication of all information, news, I can ask Facebook company. This question should be asked to them.

Let’s give some more time to the international media. When it comes to your first question, we have captured for the last three days in any province, there hasn’t been any case of murder, there is full security across the country. Our poet has been kidnapped – we are going to follow up with this – our poets, our talented people should not be harmed, this should be stopped. The current situation is like, resembles a martial law kind of situation. It will soon come back to normal. No one will be able to kidnap anyone.

Compare now to last week, for example; there’s a huge difference. Nobody’s losing their life anymore. We are going to have more and more security, day by day. Those who have left the country – we don’t want anybody to be out of the country. This is the country, this is our common homeland, we have common values, common religion and common nation. We would like to come under the umbrella of these commonalities. We have undergone these problems and difficulties within this public amnesty, general amnesty, so no animosity is going to be followed up.

[Question about heroin production in the country]

We are assuring our countrymen and women and the international community, we will not have produce any narcotics. In 2001, if you remember, we had brought narcotics content production to zero in 2001, but our country was unfortunately occupied by then and the way was paved for reproduction of narcotics even at the level of the government – everybody was involved.

But from now on, nobody’s going to get involved, nobody can be involved in drug smuggling. Today, when we entered Kabul, we saw a large number of our youth who was sitting under the bridges or next to the walls and they were using narcotics. This was so unfortunate. I got saddened to see these young people without any faith in the future. From now on, Afghanistan will be a narcotics-free country but it needs international assistance. The international community should help us so that we can have alternative crops. We can provide alternative crops. Then, of course, very soon, we can bring it to an end.

I should mention that Afghanistan will have a strong Islamic government. What the name is going to be, what the specifications are going to be, let’s leave it to the political leaders. They are now conducting serious consultations in this regard, but we can assure you that it will be an Islamic and a strong government on the basis of our values and will not be against the values and benefits of our our people.

We will do our most to make sure that everybody is included in the country, even those people against us in the past, so we are going to wait until those announcements are made. Government agencies will be able to start working again very soon. When it comes to women, of course, they will be able to work within the frameworks of our Islamic laws for example in education, in health, in prosecution. Of course, women are needed, they are going to be able be working.

[Question]

Foreign fighters, one point that Afghanistan soil is not meant to be used against anybody. I should assure the international community, anyone who means to use our land against other countries, we are not going to allow them at all. The government is being formed. The problems are being resolved, our leaders are involved. We are going to announce everything in the next few days, such as that the situation is under control now for a better government.

The first question about foreign fighters, is that we will not allow any foreigners who wish to harm or threaten the security of the country’s space in Afghanistan. And we have assured this. As for your second question, as for the government setup, we are still working on it. It will be in stages.

Question: Can women continue to work for the media in the same way as in the past?

Just wait and see what the future government is going to say. Our laws, when it comes to media and other essentials are going to be such that everybody should be able to work but within the framework of the Islamic Sharia laws, because currently we can’t actually present you with everything clearly. Just wait for the government, for the laws to be promulgated, and then we will of course be able to observe those laws and regulations.

[Question]

The question is whether you’re in touch with Dr Abdullah, Hekmatyar and Hamid Karzai. Let’s just say, that very soon we will be witnessing the formation of the government, announcing the government. We will do our most to make sure that we are in touch with all sides, with Dr Abdullah, with others, we have been communicating with them. We’re continuing our communication with them we will do our most to make sure that all Afghans are included. Nobody should be left out, or any anybody with interests to serve the nation, they’re not going to be ignored. So the future government will be inclusive. As to when our leader is going to enter the country, enter Kabul, I should mention that very soon. The decision will be made. The government will be announced and all problems will be solved.

[Question]
We should wait a little bit more, because it’s like an emergency at the moment, we will make sure that everybody’s included, and we’ll have a proper and healthy government.

[Question]
The question is about the relations with the rest of the world, because as I mentioned before, Afghanistan wants to have very good relations with everybody. In order to revive our economy, in order to ensure prosperity, in order to come out of this current crisis that calls for having really good relations with neighbouring countries, with other countries, we are doing our best to make sure that we are communicating with neighbouring countries within the framework of international diplomatic frameworks and on the basis of good neighbourly agreements and mutual respect.

Thank you so much for coming here. We don’t have enough time, unfortunately, thank you so much for coming. Have a good day.”

END OF THE ARTICLE

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