magazine (http://www.islam.org.au), April - May 1997]
The Spokesperson of the
Taliban Government to Nida'ul Islam: "Our Goal is to Restore Peace and Establish a Pure and Clean Islamic State in Afghanistan"
Click here to read an analysis of Taliban
Islamabad- Exclusive to "Nida'ul Islam"|
The official spokesperson of the Taliban Movement, Mula "Ma'soum Afghani", denied any relationship with the Pakistani army, but he emphasised the keenness of the Movement to establish friendly relationship with all countries and parties. Ma'soum Afghani added in his talk with "Nida'ul Islam" that the Arab Mujahideen who live in areas under Taliban control are "our guests", but they will not be allowed to use Afghanistan against other Islamic countries. He ascribed the Taliban strength to the anarchy and lack of security that overwhelmed the country during the rule of former Mujahideen.
Ma'soum Afghani, the official spokesman of the Afghani Taliban Movement, in spite of his young age of 28, is considered one of the founders of the Movement. He joined the Movement right from its emergence in September 1994 as a teacher at the national religious schools in Karachi.
Because of his closeness to the decision making body, he was chosen as the first Taliban ambassador overseas. He is now in charge of the Afghani embassy in Pakistan. He led the Movement's negotiation delegation to Islam Abad for talks with the Uzbac militia under the leadership of General Abdul Rashid Dustum, supervised by the United Nations.
Like all Taliban leaders, Ma'soum Afghani answered quietly, simply and in a fluent Arabic language the questions posed by "Nida'ul Islam", which spread from history to present and the future.
The Taliban Movement appeared in a short span of time and in special circumstances that raised a number of questions and accusations against it. Would you shed some light on the Movement's ideology and thoughts towards the Islamic revival theory, its objectives, its source of finance and the identity of Mula Muhammad Omar and his group?
When the Jihad leaders failed to achieve the goals and objectives of Jihad and were unable to establish an Islamic regime and State, anarchy and lack of security and stability resulted. This increased with time in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghani cities. The Afghani people were subjected to the injustice of the Islamic leaders. The people had to face those actions, try to form the Islamic State and restore stability and peace in the country.
It is clear then that Taliban was supported and financed by the Afghani people and merchants. The Movement now controls 22 of the 30 Afghani provinces. It collects customs dues in those provinces, which provides a reasonable source of income to the Movement and its activities. Our goal is to restore peace and establish a pure and clean Islamic State in this country, which is the goal of every Muslim and religious student. Mula Mohammad Omar was publicly elected as the chief and Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (leader of the believers) and is now, with the grace of Allah, supported by the Afghani people. The merchants and businessmen also financially support us. Amir-ul-Mu'mineen now runs all the country's authorities and affairs. There is now a political consultation council for the Movement and a military consulting council for directing the battle. The Ministries include: Pilgrimage, Trusts, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Culture, Migrants, Borders, Internal and other ministries.
Can you tell us the role of the movement's leadership in the Jihad against the Soviet invaders?
Most of the Movement's leaders, headed by Mula Muhammad Omar, Ihsanullah, Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel and others participated in the Jihad. Before the Jihad, they were students in religious schools.
What is the nature of the relationship that links the Movement with the Pakistani army, the real ruler of Pakistan?
During the Jihad period, the scholars and students played a role in Jihad and in conveying the message of Islam. We do not have any ties with the Pakistani army because we aim for peace and implementation of Shari'a (Islamic Law) in our country. However, we want good relationship with Pakistan and with every Muslim country within the Islamic system and law.
How do you evaluate your relationship with the Arab Mujahideen who are currently residing in Afghanistan? And what is the basis of the relationship?
This relationship is based on this: the Arabs fulfilled their role in Jihad in Afghanistan against Communism. We have relationships with some of them but not all of them are under our control or on our land. They live in Afghanistan as guests, but the land of Afghanistan will not be used against any other Islamic country.
Do you have any ties with other Islamic Movement in the world?
We are currently interested in restoring peace and stability and implementing Shari'a. We do not have time to establish relationships with other Islamic Movements in the world.
What are the basis and preconditions that direct Taliban in their negotiations with the warring parties to put an end to the Afghani war?
The political principles of the Movement are stability in Afghanistan, implementation of Shari'a, collecting weapons and ammunition and transferring them to major military bases. These weapons will be submitted to a responsible body. When collection of the weapons and ammunition in Afghanistan is completed, peace and stability will be restored. That is why there is no priority for negotiations under the threat of weapons. Taliban now controls 80% of the land in Afghanistan and implements Shari'a on it, and peace prevails there. Weapons and ammunition must be collected from those militias. When other groups failed in the past in achieving this goal, the need for their existence became unjustified. Those other groups must therefore submit what they have to Taliban and save their country from killing and destruction. They should not give a chance to external interference in Afghanistan.
There are reports about secret negotiations between you and Hizbi Islami, what is the truth of those reports?
Those reports are false.
What is the Movement's position regarding the aggressions of the United States against Islam and its attitude towards Taliban's implementation of Islam?
Islam is a comprehensive way of life. It contains Islamic fundamentals and principles. It teaches us good relationships with other parties whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim. These are the basics of Islam with which we must abide.
The Movement calls for implementing Islam. How will you achieve this politically, economically, militarily and socially?
Islam is a comprehensive way of life. It has radiating basics for every social, political, economical and militarily event. As far as women are concerned, they also must abide by the Islamic teachings and they will get all their rights granted by Islam. Under current circumstances, it is hard for us to provide education for women, due to our economical condition.
What is the Movement's position towards Russia, the recently independent Muslim republics ruled by Communists, and Iran?
We seek good relationships with every Islamic country. We want Iran to stop interfering in Afghanistan. If it does this, our relations will be good. We are working to establish good relationships with the others irrespective of their rulers.
Do you have a word to direct to the Muslims across Nida'ul Islam?
We want all nations, particularly in the Islamic world, to recognise the Islamic Government of Taliban. Muslims have struggled and supported us to achieve this goal, and it has been achieved. The students and the Ulama have established this Government under the leadership of Amir-ul-Mu'mineen, the Mujahid Mula Muhammad Omar. Now it is the responsibility of the whole Islamic world to stand by and support this Government. We call upon all the scholars of the Islamic world to come and examine the Islamic Government of Taliban.
(Brother Ma'soum Afghani requested that we publish the following number
for people wishing to financially support the Islamic Government of Afghanistan:Afghan Ambassador, Mufti Ma'soum
Afghani. Telephone: 0011-9251-824 505-6
Translated by Br. Sayed Qandil
Translated by Br. Sayed Qandil