• The more the Taliban become pragmatic, the more they're going to lose people, and that's what ISIS is counting on - Kamran Bokhari

    Taliban are now gearing into pragmatism because they have to govern.

    This is a fluidic battle space ... hardliners can become disillusioned very easily if Taliban start to make compromises on ideology.

    We saw this in Syria. There were multiple groups that were not ISIS but they lost a lot of fighters to ISIS over the years.

    There are always going to be people who sympathize with this project. - Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

  • A former aide of Osama Bin Laden, Muhammad Amin-ul-Haq, has reportedly returned to his native Nangarhar province for the first time in 20 years after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

    "He served as head of Bin Laden’s security in Tora Bora following the 2001 US-led invasion." - TRT

  • Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman, government of IAEA, in a TRT interview on One on One

    "We had considered appearing in front of the media if we survived, but we thought we'd be killed before our struggle ended, because we were under a lot of threats. For example, I had a phone, and there were American drones above me, ready to drop bombs. I faced many such dangers. So, we never imagined we would survive this long. I always believed we would succeed in our struggle and one day, rid Kabul and all of Afghanistan from the occupation forces. Afghanistan is only for Afghans. We always believed in this. But I never thought I'd live to see that day. I think God for keeping me alive, but I pray for him to fulfill my wish of martyrdom one day. For now, I think we have been given a chance to serve the people, to fulfill all the promises we made to Afghans, and to keep our word to them. We will work hard to find a way to solve people's problems, anywhere, anytime. We have to answer to God and the people."

    "I guess I had always thought I would be martyred in this war. I never thought I would live to see the revolution suceed. Because as I said before I was always in danger. I couldn't even switch my phone on for an hour because the Americans can easily track anyone on a cellular network and capture or kill them. I thought I'd be martyred that way. It was a very difficult position to be in but I was not afraid. I always wanted to be counted amongst the martyrs. But God had different plans for me. This is also one of his blessings, that he wants me to do good. And I hope we can achieve our goals. We always pray for martyrdom."

    "No one wants to live under the transgressions of an occupying force."

    "If we are terrorists why have we not killed anyone [in the 10 days since entering Kabul]? There is no terrorism here as you can see."

    "We were fighting against foreign occupiers and their puppet regime."

    "The Americans started this war. They attacked us, and got what they deserved. The Americans failed in their mission. The world has seen how they left Afghanistan in a failed state. The situation is not good for the United States. The United States destroyed its reputation in the eyes of the world. THe United States showed its real face to the world. We also saw what they did in Guantanamo and Bagram prisons. They claim to be defenders of human rights, but the world has seen the reality of these tall claims. We saw how the United States conducted itself during war. We have witnessed their reality first-hand."

    "How could they [the Americans] have controlled Afghanistan when they can't even control the airport?"

    "The Americans want Afghans to be dispossessed in refugee camps without a clear future. Thousands of people have been forced to leave without a clear future. Families are being torn apart. Fathers and sons separated."

    "This is a huge issue and hindrance for Afghanistan. Doctors, engineers, teachers, and scholars [fled Afghanistan]. They are the cream of Afghan society. Afghanistan has been in war for a long time. So we have very few skilled professionals. Our motherland needs these skilled professionals."

    "The British want Americans to fail. They want more war. Americans have made the most sacrifices compared to their allies. British political leaders want the war to continue. We remember British leader Tony Blair encouraging Americans to go to war with the Afghans in 2001, and left the Americans alone. ... War benefits no one, but if they want war, they will get war."

    "As I said before, Afghans will not submit to pressure by any country [regarding sanctions]. ... I think Afghanistan should form a diplomatic relation with the US. It's good to listen to one another and work out our differences to find solutions. They bombed us for 20 years. They kept putting our people in agony. Stop this cruelty. Our people have lost patience. We can solve our differences in a diplomatic way. There is no other way except this."

    "Over time, we observed how systems in different Afghan cities operate. We have returned with this knowledge to improve things."

    "... all those opposed to us--the police, the army, and others, have been safe. ... We have enemies here we fought for 20 years, but no one has been touched."

    "Amrullah Saleh [a politician who claimed the office of acting president when president Ghani fled] also says he wants to fight, but like his predecessor, he can't afford to go to war. He will fail. Anyone would. He should not risk the lives of ordinary Afghans. The people of Afghanistan don't want war. ..."

    "We have maintained that we want good relations with Turkey [the only Islamic NATO member] so they could share their immense experience with us, and similarly, if they could provide economic support, we would welcome it."

    "Pakistan's role in Afghanistan is that of a good neighbor. ... We do not stand by the asuumption that Pakistan has stood with us, or given us an ideology and support. This news is just not correct, and has been part of a propaganda for 20 years. It will be proven that Pakistan is our neighbor, nothing more. We want good relations with them. ... because they are our neighbors."

    "They have frozen our funds [$10b of Afghan reserves] despite the current situation. We request the United States to release our national funds and give Afghanistan the money it desperately needs. I say the general situation will get better."


    The same day Western news was plastered with 'an explosion at Kabul airport.' Reports have it 13 are dead, including 4 US servicemen (the first to die in the country in a while). The Biden Whitehouse called it a 'complex attack.' Experts say it will now be more difficult to withdraw by Aug 31 [the deadline, but news has for a week or more been asking whether that could be extended, seeming like the US wants to but the Taliban says no] and also more difficult to engage in some retaliatory military action 'against terrorist targets on the ground.' At least that is the line many Western media are publishing. I don't see how that makes sense. Why does Biden need to militarily respond to an attack on their occupation force after 20 years of fighting? IS claimed they did it, and Taliban condemned it.


    So Afghanistan now has a government that has been working very hard for 20 years, thinking about and testing ideas in their minds, living under constant possibility of death and accepting it, and believing in their goal, which they have been considering and refining, pondering questions of actions.

    Will they be allowed by the US and others to do whatever they intend to do?

    YT: Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman  
  • Some Afghanis are fleeing to cities to escape new Taliban law

    'If they don't kill us today, they'll kill us tomorrow,' a husband told a wife who worked as a teacher for years before being promoted to principal, after death threats began. She worked at a government-run school in an increasingly Taliban-controlled town. Schools are attacked by rockets and suicide bombers sometimes. The Taliban have their own schools. The couple moved to the city where Taliban holds no real sway, although some of her sons remained in the town.

    A typical punishment for women: public whippings for an unmarried woman talking on the phone with a man. A married woman who did something similar could be hanged.

    A local government head sitting at a local trial said to France24: 'Today, just like yesterday, all Taliban decisions must be in harmony with Islamic law. Whether it be stoning to death, decapitation, or mutilation of the hand, these are strong principles of Islam. They're strong principles of Sharia. And we will never change thm until judgement day.'

  • Tajikistan holds nationwide military drills in face of emergent Taliban

    #Afghanistan #Taliban #Tajikistan
  • Afghanistan after America

    Now it's the Afghan govt versus the Taliban, which is reported to be retaking ground, on the offensive. Since Biden announced the US's complete withdrawal a couple months ago, Taliban took about 1/4 (127, 10 of those again retaken by the Afghan military) of the districts of Afghanistan, where they are implementing Sharia and blocking media.

    Last US troops leave Sept 1 (the last 650 that remain, contra to the Doha agreement, after most of the 4000-strong force left), and then we'll really see what Taliban will do.

    "This land belongs to you and us," said an Afghan soldier, "The Russians were here and they left. Then the Americans came and now they have left. This country is ours, and we will protect it even without pay or equipment."

    Reports are that the Taliban aren't willing to go sit at the negotiating table, where Afghan govt negotiators are waiting.

    There are lineups at passport offices, people wanting to leave, remembering the 90s.