Collapse of former Afghan government harmed people’s interest, says Taliban now

The collapse of the former government was not in the interest of the Afghan people, Taliban Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said, adding the situation would have been much better if they had reached a meaningful peace deal

Oct 25, 2021
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Taliban Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid

The collapse of the former government was not in the interest of the Afghan people, Taliban Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said, adding the situation would have been much better if they had reached a meaningful peace deal. The remark from Mujahid, who is also a deputy minister for information and culture in the Taliban's interim government, came in an interview to TOLOnews.

“In my opinion, Afghanistan was damaged by it because if war was stopped and we reached a meaningful negotiation, the situation would have been better and different from now,” Mujahid said, adding, “the result would have avoided the collapse of institutions and the fleeing of people from the country.” 

Over 100,000 Afghans, mostly professionals and government employees, fled the country after the Taliban takeover.

Ending the war through negotiations would have provided a better situation for people, Mujahid added. 

The Taliban came to power on 15 August by toppling the US-backed Afghan government. However, the group is now finding it tough to get their regime accepted by the international regime. The Taliban also appears under pressure from the international community to have a more inclusive government comprising representatives of other tribes and women. 
 
During the interview, he said changes could be expected in the current cabinet as the path for further discussion remained open. However, he rejected the concerns by some countries regarding some certain individuals (read Sirajuddin Haqqani) in the government. 

“We are reiterating, again and again, the terms of inclusivity means something like this ... If the aim is to include the people, we have already included various ethnicities in the current government, and they are part of the cabinet,” he said.   

Furthermore, he criticized the US for withdrawing financial aid, accusing it of encouraging countries to withhold resources and to not recognize the caretaker government.

The interview came soon after the Taliban delegation returned from the Russia-led Moscow Format conference on Afghanistan. There too the recognition of the regime was not on the agenda of the discussion. 

The humanitarian and economic crises have been deepening in the country, with the severe shortage of cash and food. Reports of deaths due to starvation have already started emerging. In West Kabul last week,  eight orphaned children of a single family died because they had not eaten for days, health and other officials said confirming the tragic incident. More such incidents are expected to come to light in the coming days as food supplies dry up. 

(SAM)