Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said that Afghanistan has nothing to do with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan government should resolve it.
Mujahid’s stated this while talking to Salim Safi in Geo News programme Jirga on Saturday night.
Safi asked Mujahid if the Taliban will speak to the TTP to not engage in conflict with Pakistan, he said: “The future government will have the rightful say about this. However, our principled stance is that we will not allow anyone to use our soil for destroying peace of any other country.”
He said that if the TTP consider the Afghan Taliban as their leaders, “they will have to listen to them, whether they like it or not”.
Mujahid said: “The TTP issue is one that Pakistan will have to deal with, not Afghanistan. It is up to the Pakistan government, and Pakistani ulema and religious figures, not the Taliban, to decide on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their war and to formulate a strategy in response.”
When asked how soon government in Afghanistan will be formed, he said that efforts are being made in this regard, but some minor obstacles are causing a delay.
The Taliban spokesman said: “Entering Kabul all of a sudden and taking over governance like this was unanticipated. We desire to hold wide-ranging talks regarding the formation of a government, so that a strong government can form.”
Mujahid also hinted the Taliban’s desire for an “end to war”, and the “creation of such a system, with everyone’s input, that represents the wishes of the Afghan people”.
“We have made considerable progress in this regard, but work is still underway,” he said.
“Discussions are being held on all aspects of a government,” he said, adding that he hopes that the Taliban will be ready “within a few days” to make an announcement in this regard.
Mujahid noted that the delay has caused hindrances in day-to-day operations and matters of trade and diplomacy, and so the Taliban have “engaged all their efforts in forming a government as soon as possible”.
Regarding talks with former president Hamid Karzai and former chief executive officer, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, besides former vice presidents Yunus Qanuni and Abdul Rashid Dostum, he said that their advice is being sought.
He said that the Taliban wish for those to be part of the government who have the support of the people and enjoy popularity and will avoid the inclusion of people who were at the centre of conflict in the past.
“We are consulting leaders present in Kabul. We are in touch with them, and their recommendations are important to us,” he added.
Mujahid said that the Taliban also wish for “new faces” to be part of the government.
Replying to a question on what each side has demanded of the other, Mujahid said that the group will move forward keeping in view the input given by the political leaders and will take measures in light of the same.
About Rashid Dostum’s future engagement, Mujahid said: “The people who were part of the government in the last 20 years have worked for Afghanistan to some extent but do not enjoy the overwhelming support of the people.”
“We wish to begin a new chapter and include people who do not only enjoy popular support, but are deserving of being the people’s representatives.
“But this does not in any way mean that all the past leaders will be sidelined. We will routinely consult them and seek their advice,” he added.
Mujahid said that the Taliban had heard talks of a high level commission to oversee government affairs, but such a body has yet to be formed.
“We wish for matters to be resolved through dialogue and for this, a mechanism is needed to facilitate such talks,” he said.
On control of Panjshir valley where an anti-Taliban resistance under Ahmed Massoud of the National Resistance Front has been mounted, Mujahid said that the Taliban are “60 percent confident that matters can be resolved through talks.”
“We have put to use all available resources to make this possible. We have consulted ulema, and former jihadi leaders, and a regular exchange of messages is taking place,” he said.
He hoped that it would not boil down to a war, similar to how the Taliban were able to take over other Afghan districts and provinces “without the use of force.”
“We hope to bring Panjshir under the control of Kabul, much like this,” he said.
Mujahid said that in exchange of messages with leaders in Panjshir the Taliban had indicated they do not wish war.
“Even if a war does break out, it will be swift, because our fighters have Panjshir surrounded,” he said, adding that they are present in Badakhshan, Paghman and Takharo Parwan.