The Taliban’s Political Office put out a statement today “concerning opposition to peace process and activities”, which placed blame for the ongoing war in Afghanistan on the Afghan government and the U.S.-led coalition. The statement is reproduced below.
In reality, the political barriers to peace are entirely manned by the Taliban. The U.S. has for many years offered to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban on three conditions: (1) recognize the elected Afghan government; (2) renounce the use of violence as a means of acquiring political power; and (3) sever ties with al-Qaeda. All conditions have been resolutely resisted by the Taliban.
The first two have been openly flouted: the Taliban has rapidly expanded its areas of influence through military aggression, now controlling or contesting nearly half of the country. It was once said that if an actor is “content to practice its doctrines within its own frontiers, that [actor], however repugnant its ideology, is one with which we have no proper quarrel”, and the demand that the Taliban cut off relations with al-Qaeda is in-keeping with this guiding idea. For as long as the Taliban harbours transnationalist jihadists of the kind that executed the 9/11 massacre, and retains them as an integral part of its structure, the Taliban’s ostensibly-limited geographic ambitions are of no consequence and it will remain an impenetrable obstacle to peace.
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The entire world is aware that the Islamic Emirate is waging a lawful jihadic struggle against the ongoing, sixteen-year occupation of our beloved homeland at the hands of America and her allies. The invading countries accused the Islamic Emirate of lacking a program and intention towards finding a peaceful solution and due to their [Islamic Emirate] concentration on war, we, too, are forced to prolong the conflict.
This is a baseless allegation against the Islamic Emirate.
Finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem was and is the policy of Islamic Emirate. In order to clarify this policy, the Islamic Emirate dispatched veteran and experienced diplomats to the capital of Qatar in 2011 after an agreement with the concerned parties to establish an avenue of contact for the efforts of a peace process.
The leader of Islamic Emirate tasked his diplomats with working towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Afghan problem.
If they were to meet delegations from other countries, the sole agenda would be peace and explaining the policy of Islamic Emirate in this regard.
The Political Office is an authoritative organ of the Emirate. No other organ or individual of the Islamic Emirate has or will have any permission or authority to conduct open or secret activities in this regard.
The Political Office has done its job, however the opposition has repeatedly blocked efforts of a peace process and has now spread rumours about closing the office. This in itself reflects their anti-peace policy.
It was mutually agreed in 2011 that a delegation from the Political Office of Islamic Emirate will participate in the upcoming Bonn Conference where true efforts will be made towards finding a peaceful resolution. However, the Kabul regime launched preventative actions which were accepted by the US. On this same year when political representatives of the Islamic Emirate arrived at Qatar, the Kabul administration showed their displeasure and recalled their ambassador to Kabul in protest.
Following a peace conference in Chantilly in France in the year 2012, it was agreed that in the early part of 2013 another conference will be held in Turkmenistan, which shall pave way for peace, but once again it was shunned by Kabul.
In 2013 a Political Office for negotiations was officially inaugurated in the Qatari capital of Doha following a series of meetings with American officials. But before any negotiations could commence, Kabul again protested under excuse of the office name and flag and the US accepted their view.
In January of 2016, when guests were arriving to a second conference organized by Pugwash in Doha, efforts were made to stop them from leaving Kabul airport.
Similarly, another conference was organized by Pugwash on August of this year in Kazakhstan and it was expected that a delegation from the Political Office would also participate. However, Kabul once again protested, which was accepted by the US.
From this one can discern that finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem has no room in the policy of the American invaders and their foreign and internal allies. Rather, the real strategy is prolonging the occupation of Afghanistan, martyring Afghans, destroying Afghanistan, and using Afghanistan as a military base for their imperialistic goals.
Finding a true peaceful solution to the Afghan problem is still the enduring policy of Islamic Emirate. However, we must state that if this door of opportunity is shut, all responsibility for the war in Afghanistan and its results will fall squarely on the shoulders of the invaders and their allies.
Political Office of Islamic Emirate