Afghan Taliban urge US to keep promises
16 September, 2013
KARACHI: Mullah Muhammad Hassan Rehmani, a former governor of Kandahar and a close aide of Taliban head Mulla Omar and a senior member of the Taliban Shura, has urged the US to honour the promises it has made to the Taliban, who now want to establish relations with the entire world.
Talking to Geo and Jang in an interview from the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Rehmani said that the US had promised talks with the Taliban for which their office was established in Qatar. He said the US had removed the Taliban flag and board from the office and the Taliban closed their office and suspended the dialogue process in protest.
He said that the Taliban were now waiting to see whether the US honoured its promises or not. He said if the US honoured the promises, the Taliban representatives would start talks with the US representatives in Qatar. He said the Taliban and the US representatives would exchange their demands during the talks.
He said that the Taliban now wanted to build relations with countries other than the US. He said they could not contact the Karzai government in the presence of the forces of the US, Nato and other countries. He said once these forces left Afghanistan, Afghans would need to work out a way to stay united. He said that the Taliban would abolish the office of the country's president and restore the office of Amirul Momineen in its place.
He said they were deliberating on the structure of the future government in Afghanistan, keeping in mind the wishes of the people and interests of the country. On the relations with Hizb-e-Islami and the Northern Alliance, he said the Taliban would do whatever was in the interest of the country and its people. He said they would keep Afghanistan's membership of the UN and accept the UN charters and conventions because they needed them. He said the Taliban did not want to confine women to houses and were not against their education. He said they did not intend to abolish the facilities women were granted.
He said the Taliban respected minorities, had never suppressed them and rather had granted them concessions. He said the Taliban were ready to listen to the US provided the latter did justice. He said the US troubled them and they would need to talk about these troubles.
He went on to say that Syrian President Basharul Assad was suppressing women, children and defenceless people and such an oppressor was liable to be punished. He said that they favoured the US attack on Syria but opposed a possible Russian attack on Saudi Arabia.
He said that Russia would find itself in trouble if it attacked Saudi Arabia as all Afghans and Muslims were out to defend Saudi Arabia. He looked fresh during the interview and his war background was not mentioned in his introduction. He had lost one of his legs in the war.