Interpreting Taliban Chief’s Eid Message
Fight and negotiate to establish an Islamic Emirate continues to be the principal objective of the Taliban and no compromise evident in the Eid message
On 01 June, Taliban Chief Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada issued the traditional Eid –ul-Fitr message paying obeisance to Allah (SwT) and sought His blessings.
Part One outlines the objectives of the current struggle and progress in achieving the same, while part Two is an appeal to the people of the country and instructions to the Taliban fighters or Mujahid.
Mullah Hibatullah outlined the Taliban’s two pronged strategy of a military campaign co-jointly with negotiations with the objective of evicting foreign troops and establishing the Islamic Emirate. He claimed that these objectives were likely to be achieved shortly with much success so far.
The main objective of foreign policy was identified as good neighbourly relations, with the aim of greater acceptability of the Taliban regime as and when it came to power.
To the people of Afghanistan he promised good governance and asked the rebel fighters to avoid targeting civilians and maintain order.
A review of these issues is as given in the succeeding paragraphs.
State of the War (Jihad) and Political Developments
Mullah Hibatullah the Taliban Chief claimed success in the “defensive Jihad,” against, “invaders,” with the initiative with the so called Islamic Emirate. He outlined the two fold campaign of combating foreign forces and negotiations with the Americans with a view to bring an, “end to the occupation and establishment of an Islamic system”.
The military and the political that is violence and negotiations were synergistic in achieving the objective of evicting foreign forces and finally establishing an Islamic system. He also accused foreign forces of gross human rights violations and attacks on innocents, even though it is conclusively established by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) that the Taliban has been the major perpetrator of violence against civilians
On negotiations, the Taliban Chief claimed that the Kabul administration as the Afghan government is referred to by the rebels is attempting to scuttle talks with mainstream political leaders which took place in Moscow and went on to state that the, “– The Islamic Emirate does not seek monopoly over power. We believe that all Afghans shall genuinely see themselves represented in the government,” and also “shall positively utilize reforms in light of Islamic principles regarding the present structures for future Afghanistan”.
In short the reforms of the present structures will be carried out in line with Islamic principles.
On foreign relations Mullah Hibatullah has sought Afghanistan that is free from foreign occupation. He called for maintaining, “positive relations with the world and specifically with the regional countries and is committed to the principles of healthy relations between neighbours.”
In a controversial statement that has invited a strong reaction from the United States Envoy on Negotiations with the Taliban, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Mullah Hibatullah has called upon the United States to, “adopt a policy of reason and understanding, to remain a sincere partner in the negotiations process and accept the logical proposals of the Islamic Emirate for advancement of this process”.
He outlined the objective of establishing a, “sovereign, Islamic and inclusive government acceptable to all Afghans.”
To achieve this aim there would be no compromise given the sacrifice of the past four decades going back to the war against the Soviet Union.
He identified progress in negotiations with America and remarkably expects, “further progress (Allah willing) in intra-Afghan dialogue,” possibly implying the two rounds of talks between Taliban negotiators and Afghan leaders in Moscow.
Referring to the Afghan government as, “Kabul administration workers,” he called to them to stop supporting the, “invaders,” which is the only point of contention between the two sides, thus once again highlighting that foreign occupation was the main issue and in case this was removed there would be no differences over which the two sides had to fight.
People of Afghanistan
To the people of Aghanistan he assured “all the rights of male and female compatriots will be given to them under the shade of a sound Islamic government,” and vouched to protect the public welfare projects.
To his “Mujahid” or fighters he called for “safeguarding the life and property of people during military operations…,” an outreach to the people and effective administration of areas under Taliban control was