DOHA, QATAR – AUGUST 20, 2021: The Taliban movement has called on Turkey and world countries to assist Afghanistan, days after the group seized power in the war-torn country.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, said the Afghan movement has been targeted by the media for the past two decades and has been denied the right to defend itself.
“Turkey is an important country in the world and the Turkish people are brotherly Muslim people and we maintain historic, social and cultural relationship [with Turkey],” Naeem said.
The Taliban spokesman said his group is in contact with the Turkish state. “We want to establish good relations with Turkey and develop this relationship in the future,” he added.
Naeem said that the Afghan people have been ravaged by war for the past four decades.
“The Afghan people need assistance and we call on all countries, particularly Turkey, to help our people and our country,” he added.
The spokesman added that Turkey could “play an important and constructive role in Afghanistan in terms of rebuilding the war-torn country”.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after taking the capital Kabul on Aug. 15, forcing the president and other top officials to leave the country.
The unexpected power grab triggered a rush to flee Afghanistan, including civilians who assisted foreign soldiers or groups and now fear Taliban retribution.
Naeem said Taliban practices on the ground will assure both the Afghan people and the outside world.
“We don’t have many problems inside Afghanistan, because we are with the people and the people are with us, we know each other,” he said.
The Taliban spokesman noted that the biggest problem facing Afghanistan is the war.
“The war has disrupted all aspects of life in Afghanistan,” Naeem said.
“We managed to end the war that was imposed on us for 20 years. This was the wish of every one of our people,” the spokesman said.
“We can take advantage of this opportunity and be confident that our people are able to rebuild their country.”
The Taliban spokesman said the Afghan group, which was ousted from power by the US-led occupation in 2001, has been in contact with several countries and organizations over the past 10-15 years.
“During this period, the Taliban managed to create an understanding with these parties although there are disagreements,” he said.
The spokesman said communication helps resolve any misunderstanding between the Taliban and other parties. “We have tried this with some countries when we communicated together,” Naeem said, without naming these countries.
The Taliban spokesman said his movement is communicating with a number of countries. “They may raise some issues such as the issue of drugs,” Naeem said. “We managed in the past to eliminate this problem, but this requires assistance from all parties, particularly the international community.”
The Taliban spokesman said the Islamic religion protects the rights of women and minorities.
“We are totally committed to [protecting] women’s rights. Women have the right to education, work and property,” Naeem said.
He continued, “We assure all about this. We will not say that the situation will improve in one or two days. We want a chance to solve these problems.”
The Taliban spokesman lamented that his group has been targeted by the media for the past two decades.
“They are all against us and we did not have the chance to speak out except for the past three years,” he said.
As for the form of rule in Afghanistan in the coming period, the Taliban spokesman said “the rule must be Islamic”.
“More than 99% of the Afghan people are Muslims so the people must be ruled according to their faith, traditions and norms,” he said.
“All attempts by the occupation to change the faith and traditions of the people had failed.”
Naeem said, “We say that our rule must be Islamic […] there are many forms of rule in Islam, and election is a tool but not an objective.”
The Taliban spokesman blamed the United States and other foreign powers for pushing Afghans to exit Afghanistan.
“We know our society. If I told someone that I will fly him to the US or another country without the need to have a passport, of course he will go,” Naeem said. “They have seduced the people to [travel] and opened the door for them.”
The Taliban spokesman said his movement seeks to solve problems in Afghanistan through dialogue and understanding.
“Our policy aims to solve problems through dialogue. This has borne fruits in all world countries.”
The spokesman said the Taliban have managed to seize control of Afghanistan through reaching understandings.
“We do not want problems or war,” Naeem said. “Ending the war has been the wish of all the Afghan people…we advise everyone once again to live together.”
Naeem said the Taliban have announced amnesty to all government employees.
“We look forward to a new future and to building our country,” he said. “We have assured all the military and non-military employees that they will have a chance in the future to serve their people and country.”
As for the proposal of a UN supervision of the Kabul Airport, the Taliban spokesman said the airport is built on an Afghan territory.
“The Afghans are responsible for their land and interests. This is an issue of sovereignty,” he said.
“The management of our country is our responsibility and we have the ability to do so,” Naeem said, adding that the Taliban fighters are securing the airport.
The Taliban spokesman called on all countries to respect the laws and sovereignty of Afghanistan.
“We don’t want to give our country to others to run it,” Naeem said.
“We are ready to solve the problems with all through dialogue and without abandoning the rights of our country.”