(This interview is continuation of one titled “Why the Taliban so quickly captured Kabul?” dated on 20 August 2021”)
WAJ： Thank you for the first interview “Why the Taliban so quickly captured Kabul?”. The Western medias have made various criticisms, such as “The Afghan National Army was weaker than expected,” “They do not have fighting spirits” and “The Taliban was strong.” so on. Japanese readers who do not know the truth read your sharp pointing, knew the real reason, were surprised, and at the same time understood the essence of the situation. In this second interview, please tell us more about that. （Interviewer is the editor-in-chief of WAJ: Juichi Noguchi）
- The Taliban propaganda is exaggerated. Just as they rapidly expanded its sphere of influence in Afghanistan with the help of Ashraf Ghani’s puppet government, in collusion and cooperation of certain circles within the government, known as the fifth column. The proponents of the Taliban’s within the government were exaggerating the Taliban’s strength, but now their struggle in consolidating their dominance is being faced with challenges. The Taliban have neither any policy of development, welfare, economy, and nor the will to establish a comprehensive government. They constantly speak of allegiance to the Islamic Emirate and warn to avoid any kind of resistance against them. They want to control the whole situation if they can manage to force the opposition groups to surrender without any condition. Allegiance is in stark contrast to the creation of an inclusive government. Therefore, with the propaganda of the inclusive government, they want to prevent an uprising against them.
WAJ： It is true that there are traitors in the administration and he surrendered without fighting. But more importantly, the United States recognized the Taliban as the next administration at the Doha conference. The Ghani administration may have ordered the armed forces not to fight thoroughly for fear of a civil war with the Taliban forces following that route. Therefore, it may take some time before the Afghan people’s resistance struggle against the Taliban begins.
- The Northern Resistance Forces, led by Ahmad Masoud, is both hopeful for people and nerve-wracking for the Taliban leaders in Kabul. It is hopeful because now the countries that thought the Taliban controlled almost 80% of the land under their rule, and with the cooperation of Ghani, Karzai and Khalilzad, the US special envoy for peace talks in Doha were able to quickly conquer 80 districts within a week or two. They emerged as the only undisputed force in Afghanistan in the early days, which is why China, Russia, and Iran initially expressed readiness to recognise when the Taliban government will be established.
WAJ: Before the uprising of the domestic opposition struggle, the movements of neighbouring countries, especially Russia and China, are important.
- But now the Russian Foreign Ministry says it does not recognize the Taliban government because it does not know the structure of the future government in Afghanistan. Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, the Russian politician and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, indicated the same plan as he pointed out in his recent remark. “First of all, we do not think about Afghanistan, and we do not recognize it. We are assisting the republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and we want them to have nothing to do with the Afghans. We are building the northern part of Afghanistan, which I also shared with the Americans. “The Pashtun people of Afghanistan will unite with the Pashtun people to establish a Pashtun Islamic state.” he iterated.
WAJ: When Afghanistan becomes a Pashtun nation, other peoples may not be convinced.
- He (Mr. Zhirinovsky) strongly supports the partition of Afghanistan and cooperation with the Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Turkmen. Also braces the strengthening of neighbouring countries of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The disintegration of Afghanistan will be considered by the regional and neighbouring powers of Afghanistan in case of aggravation of the situation.
WAJ： As hearing that not a federal system, but a division into multiple nations, I remember that it’s as if the reason PDPA requested military aid from the Soviet Union in 1979. “Amin is colluding with foreign powers (Pakistan, USA, Mujahedeen) to divide Afghanistan into four.” …
- The Americans and the British, with the help of Pakistan for many years, especially since the occupation of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union, until now endangered the security of Afghanistan by using various collusions. The installation of puppet regimes of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani subsequently with a group of imported mafias from western countries deteriorated the situation by passing every day. All the scenario was taking place as a direct result of interventions and incompetent US foreign policy advisors and envoys such as Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for the so-called peace in Afghanistan. The USA and its allies in competition with Russia and China in the region is a by-product of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Afghan political analysts believe.
WAJ: Does that mean that the international conflicts between the United States, Britain and Russia is rather a reflection of the conflicts within Afghanistan?
- Of course, the plan to divide Afghanistan is now openly being discussed. India, which has had friendly relations with Afghanistan for many years, is also keenly waiting for the development of situation. There is a possibility of a military conflict between India and Pakistan if Pakistan is felt to rule Afghanistan. This possibility cannot be overlooked, according to the remarks of the Major General Gagan Bakshi and his warning to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The United States fears that China will recognize the Taliban government, as China could succeed in constructing Silk Road Transport Corridor if the Taliban government is established. Of course, the extension of China’s Transport Corridor to Africa and Europe conflicts with the US economic and strategic strategy and its close allies.
WAJ: Indeed, the conflict between India and Pakistan is added to the conflict between the United States, Britain and Russia. Given that such an external environment is a by-product of conflict within Afghanistan, what will happen to conflict within Afghanistan in the future?
- The presence of some people affiliated with the fraudulent government of Ashraf Ghani, such as Amrullah Saleh, ousted first vice president, who is not a trustworthy person and credible to the resistance forces in Panjshir, his place of birth, is not earnestly welcomed among many resistance forces in Panjshir. Although in the current situation his presence is noticed with suspicion because of being an opportunistic, self- covetous and alleged as foreign agent in the Ghani’s regime. The presence of several other people known as political brokers in Ghani’s corrupt systems may also pose challenges in the future.
Certainly, with the rise of resistance in the north, foreign countries opposed to Taliban extremism are defending and backing the resistance in the north. The Pashtuns of the Ahmadzai tribe had a high position in the ministers of defence, national security and home affairs as commanders and high-ranking officers. After President Ghani’s flee and his ousted regime disintegrated, the security system collapsed, making it possible to strengthen the Northern Resistance Front. The best way is to continue the war in the north and liberate the new geography to avoid the risk of economic blockade, in which case the Taliban will suppress the uprising by violence to establish a comprehensive Emirates Islamic State.
Otherwise, recap that allegiance to the Taliban means an absolute to the Taliban Islamic Emirate like the Islamic Caliphate and medievalism. The word “allegiance” is in stark contrast to “nationwide government.”.
Of course, the sequence of development and progress of the situation is beyond our control, as it depends on various factors which cannot be accurately predicted in the current turbulent status quo and the vacuum of political power.
WAJ：Thank you for telling us a detailed story this time as well. The situation has just begun to develop rapidly, and I think it is difficult to predict how the situation will change in the future. But we don’t like to predict the future like political critics. I think it’s an irresponsible attitude. What we really want to know is what the ordinary people, public, who wish for peace and progress, thinks, and wants to act in Afghanistan’s more than 40 years of turmoil. We would appreciate it if you could continue. to hear such stories.
Interview Series -3
Suicide bombing at Kabul Airport and the future of Afghanistan
(Interviewed on 29 August 2021)
WAJ: As We continued to edit so far, news of a tragic suicide bombing at Kabul International Airport came in. In a hurry, we decided to continue the interview with Mr. Sami.
WAJ: Many people were killed in the suicide bombing at Kabul Airport on Thursday, August 26, which was the reason for interrupting the interview. A tragic incident occurred that killed and injured many American soldiers, Afghans and other country’s people trying to escape abroad. Can you tell us what you know at this point?
- As you have seen after the Taliban’s Kabul take over thousands of people rushed to Kabul Airport trying to take an airlift. The airport was a scene of desperation and panic. The flight out of the evacuees, the Americans and others were shocking. When strict security was in place at the airport suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of people assembling at the airport on Thursday, the 16th of August 2021, killing 13 US and 2 British troops and over 140 Afghans. The number of casualties and mortalities were much higher than reported.
“I saw bodies and body parts flying in the air like a tornado blowing plastic bags,” said one Afghan witness. “That little water flowing in the sewage canal had turned into blood.”
There was a large amount of security at the airport, and alternate routes were being used to get evacuees in. About 5,000 people were awaiting flights on the airfield Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, overseeing the evacuation said. The blasts came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. But that advice went largely unheeded by Afghans desperate to escape the country in the last few days of an American-led evacuation. He said the U.S. has asked Taliban commanders to tighten security around the airport’s perimeter. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said some blasts were carried out by U.S. forces to destroy their equipment. How ridiculous to believe that at that critical time?
WAJ: ISIS has issued a statement of crime.
- Yes, the Islamic State ISIS group claimed responsibility for the killings on its Amaq news channel. The ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lighting blitzkrieg. The Taliban were not believed to have been involved in the attacks and condemned the blasts. But that claim is not accepted by the people of Afghanistan, as there is not any difference between Daesh and Taliban, both being created by the same source.
U.S. President Joe Biden said the latest bloodshed would not drive the U.S. out of Afghanistan earlier than scheduled, and that he had instructed the U.S. military to develop plans to strike ISIS.
President Biden’s expression indicates that terrorists are still active in Afghanistan and installing the Taliban in power will be the new phase of a war. If that is the case, why did US administration did not make peace with ISIS as well. However, there is not any difference between Taliban and ISIS, as they committed vicious crime against the people of Afghanistan. “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden said.
The people around the world have not forgotten President George Bush address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, “our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. We condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, but also threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.”
He added, “We’re not deceived by their pretences to piety. We have seen their kind before. They’re the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism. These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.”
The Americans in charge of security at the airport asked Taliban commanders to tighten security around the airport’s perimeter. Overnight, warnings emerged from Western capitals about a threat from ISIS, which has seen its ranks boosted by the Taliban’s freeing of prisoners during its advance through Afghanistan.
Moreover, during Taliban’s takeover of provinces, thousands of Taliban were released including 7000 remaining Taliban in prisons over which an artificial dispute was going on between the Taliban leaders in Doha and Ghani’s government through the peace council, headed by Abdullah Abdullah.
Shortly before the attack, the acting U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Ross Wilson, said the security threat at the Kabul airport overnight was “clearly regarded as credible, as imminent, as compelling.” But in an interview with ABC News, he would not give details.
Late Wednesday, the day before the incident, the U.S. Embassy warned citizens at three airport gates to leave immediately due to an unspecified security threat. Australia, Britain, and New Zealand also advised their citizens Thursday not to go to the airport.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied that any attack was imminent at the airport, where the group’s fighters have deployed and occasionally used heavy-handed tactics to control the crowds. After the attack, he appeared to avoid blame, noting the airport is controlled by U.S. troops. So, you can imagine how the incident occurred.
“The Taliban have already begun seeking those who have worked with NATO,” reports say from Kabul. “They are looking for them house-by-house at night.”
Western countries fear that the Taliban, who once sheltered Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda before it was ousted from power by the U.S.-led 2001 invasion, will allow Afghanistan to turn again into a haven for militants. The Taliban say they will not let the country be used by terrorists. The same game is being reiterated after 20 years.
WAJ: Japan’s Newspaper “Yomiuri Shinbun” reports that Mr. Ghani called the governor of eastern Nangarhar on the 14th, the day before the fall of the capital, and ordered the “bloodless fall of Jalalabad”. Then, Mr. Ghani fled the country before the Taliban entering in Kabul.
- Ashraf Ghani was claiming that he was, the Chief commander of the armed forces and the guarantor of the constitution but he proved and portrayed himself politically, morally, and humanely as a great traitor and disgraceful puppet in the history of Afghanistan. Ashraf Ghani was a greedy selfish and unrestrained and unfit man. He was hypocrite and demagogue accelerated the collapse of his corrupt administration and undertakings speedily. He is liable to the current situation, embarrassing and humiliating the world’s greatest power and its allies in continuing their cooperation with Afghanistan. Ghani is not a pure-hearted, fair-minded, and well- mannered man. His fled was well organised with the American embassy in Kabul. How could he flee the airport with billions of dollars and 53 of his associates while the Kabul airport is strictly under US advanced electronic equipment surveillance? He landed in the United Arab Emirates, the US military base.
WAJ: What about the Taliban？
- The Taliban are also to blame for Afghanistan’s 20-year war. Extremism, anti-civilization, and Taliban support for terrorists became the pretext for occupying Afghanistan. The Taliban have no right to forget and acquit themselves of their past atrocious actions with a new victory. Today, the Taliban are in power.
Although the Taliban has not yet been removed from the terrorist blacklist, Russia and China see talks with the Taliban as more constructive than the fugitive and Ghani’s puppet government.
Ghani’s escape severely damaged US and allied global credibility. Extremism has no borders, ethnicity, religion or belief, and extremists believe no more in humanity. EU foreign minister fears that Afghanistan’s future will slip to Russia and China. Western countries accept their disgrace and defeat in the 20-year war in Afghanistan and consider this defeat as the greatest catastrophe to their strategic interests, but still have no military solution against the Taliban except political escape and pressure to acquit public opinion. In the current situation, the 20-year-old US military equipment and its allies are in the hands of the Taliban. The ousted president Ghani in the minds of people will be embedded as a notorious traitors and scandalous puppet.
Everyone knows that the Taliban could not have entered the palace with lightning speed without cooperating with the United States, and that Ashraf Ghani, the last statue of humiliation and slavery, could not have escaped from the airport under US control. The Taliban promise an all-encompassing government to entice and restrain the Karzai and Ghani’s thugs, and the Taliban see the loss of power as their loss.
WAJ: What impact will the Taliban’s revival have in the future?
- Never in history the strong divided power with the weak. The division of power with the American engineering in the name of the National Unity Government between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah legitimized the sectarian way of life. Today’s Taliban conquests are born of the same division of power and wealth between the plunderers and the vulgar and ridiculous elections that the thieving minority imposed on most of the Afghan people. The monopoly of power by one party or a group makes the danger of the disintegration of countries inevitable.
Foreign powers are frustrated by the disintegration of Afghanistan, but monopolies and internal egotism will be the major threat to the national unity and territorial integrity. In history sticking to monopolistic power has been the cause of the disintegration of countries. Afghanistan is in a difficult situation. However, the risk of civil war has apparently diminished, as the Afghan people are tired of war. But not negated because of the ghost existence of ISIS, as created along with Taliban.
WAJ: What is the impact of corruption and abuse of power during the US backed regimes in Kabul?
- There are countless examples of corruption in various sectors of economy, social, education and security sectors. But for this interview, I deem it necessary to quote one of the Afghan scholars as vid example in response to your query.
“After the government was overthrown, the constitution, the laws and bills are not fully enforceable, especially those which were passed and implemented against the public interest, their historical and cultural values. The Kabul International Airport stands as an example. It was named ‘Hamid Karzai International Airport”. Adding the name of Hamid Karzai, the father of corruption in Afghanistan, as the prefix in front of “Kabul International Airport” is a clear trespass to the cultural heritage of the citizens of Kabul. It is considered as a historical robbery, and usurpation of the identity of Kabulis, the residents of the capital of Afghanistan. The notorious name of Karzai should be removed and renamed as “Kabul International Airport”, which is a nationally and internationally historical recognised name. This is the way how to protect our historical, cultural values and to stop using Hamid Karzai in front of “the Kabul International Airport.
However, many civil society activists, writers, scientists, and academics have already expressed their opposition to this wrong and oppressive decision. I have also written several protest posts in the past and will pursuing my protest by writing this letter,” says Dr Rezaei, an Afghan refugee economist and scholar living in Europe.
WAJ: As I have heard many Afghans say that the US and its NATO allies under the pretext of fighting terrorism after the 9/ 11 attack, invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting Al- Qaeda, but in fact looking for the natural mineral reserves of Afghanistan, how do you read that opinion.?
- On this subject, hundreds of articles based on researched were written by Afghan and foreign scholars. What ever is worth to remember that the USA and NATO invaded Afghanistan for fighting terrorism, while everyone knows that the terrorists’ incubators are in Pakistan, where Bin Laden, the leader of Al- Qaeda was living for over years.
In relation to the mines and mineral reserves I give you a reference written by Sergei Savchuk which was published in Ryanovosti Novosti and translated from Russian into Persian- Dari by Mr. Azim Babak. It was interesting and informative, so I translated and edited into English as follows.
“The rapid collapse of the US-backed government in Afghanistan, which came under the Taliban attacks in a few days, overshadowed all other events in the world. And no wonder, it is, after all, the largest US military and foreign policy operation since the end of the Vietnam War.
The defeat of global hegemony was so deafening that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell called for an end to Russian Chinese control of the country at an unscheduled meeting of the European Parliament’s foreign relations committees.
The West’s collective concern is understandable, as actors interested in the Afghan environment have already lined up whose interest will be free of puppet occupation and military control through the government. This is not just about Moscow and Beijing.
Afghanistan is very rich in minerals, there are about one and a half thousand mines and reserves, including oil, gas, coal, copper, iron, precious and semi-precious stones. The perpetual state of war makes it very difficult to explore and clarify available reserves, but even what British, Soviet, and American geologists, in turn, have identified: a government that can stop the endless cycle of war. Slow and ensure peace, security and stability will easily float in the sea of money.
Economic theory claims that energy has always been the basis of government development in the modern world, and that the Taliban, if they have a certain political wisdom, as reformists who pull Afghanistan out of the Middle Ages, will have every chance to go down in history.
Let us briefly consider what Kabul has as a strategic reserve.
First, there is a huge iron ore mine in Hajigak in Lugar province, Afghanistan. Its main feature is that the ore precipitates very close to the surface, which allows it to be mined openly – simply with the help of an excavator. The boundaries of the excavated Hajj are 32 km of solid reserves and two billion tons of unimaginable iron ore, which is very rich: the content of the useful element in it exceeds 62%. At the same time, geologists argue that the thickness of the deposits could be twice as large. At the same time, there are industrial coal reserves in the areas adjacent to Shaba Shak and the Suf Valley, meaning that nature itself has created ideal conditions for the development of metallurgy.
This combination of circumstances simply caught the attention of India, which approved a government plan to conquer the world steel market. Delhi is very serious about becoming the world’s top home. Thus, in 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan reached a tripartite agreement under which Delhi invested in the modernization of the Iranian port at Chahbahar and Tehran built a direct railway line that reached Herat from the north-western border. India needs so much of Afghanistan’s ores and coal that it is ready to invest $ 10 billion in mining and direct rail to Chahbahar. The project was halted due to the deteriorating security situation in the country, and the development of the project was delayed by the Taliban, who seized the province.
Large reserves of hydrocarbons have been discovered in the northern province of Balkh, on the Amu Darya and on the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The U.S. Geological Survey, which conducted field surveys under the auspices of the U.S. military, estimated the area’s potential at 1.8 billion barrels of oil, 440 billion cubic meters of gas, and more than 560,000 barrels of gas. For Afghanistan, which consumes 5,000 barrels of oil a day, this is a tremendous wealth that could solve the problem of energy hunger for decades to come.
Despite Washington’s dissatisfaction, China is keeping an eye on the oil and gas region. In 2011, Kabul agreed with China National State Oil Company. The company received concessions for the development of three fields and instead committed to build three refineries, which will be completed in the next three years. It should be noted that Beijing provided extremely favourable conditions for Kabul: Seventy percent of the profits from the production and sale of oil and gas were allocated to the Afghan budget. At the same time, of course, stupid.” That is one of the main reasons that USA has been involved in the longest war in the name of fighting terrorism which has been Pakistan the cradle and nourishing centre for terrorism and a haven for Al-Qaeda.
WAJ: Thank you for your long commentary. We think Afghanistan will face an unprecedented wave of turmoil and reorganization both at home and abroad. We will continue to pay attention to Afghanistan without forgetting the epigram that if international community forgets Afghanistan, it falls misery. We look forward to working with you in the future.
By Fateh Sami