By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Hopefully, the Taliban have mellowed and no longer consider themselves as the group with the exclusive right to govern multiethnic Afghanistan – not through the ballot box, but through military seizure of power in Kabul as was the case in 1997 that plunged the country into war and bloodshed, making it an easy prey to the US invasion and occupation of October 2001 that still persists.
Over two of decades of an inconclusive struggle to oust the American occupiers and to kill in the most unconventional ways through bomb blasts and ambushes anyone deemed dependent on the US, have seemingly convinced the mostly Pashtu- speaking Taliban (not the sole representatives of the proud Pakhtoun people who make up almost half of Afghanistan) to work with other ethnic, political, and religious groups for the independence, integrity, and stability of their homeland.
This was evident on Wednesday in Tehran, where a Taliban delegation held talks on issues of mutual interest with Head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani, who pointed out that the main hurdle to peace and security in Afghanistan is the US which seeks to continue the war.
He added without mincing words: "The Islamic Republic will never recognize any entity that would grab power in neighbouring Afghanistan through war and armed conflict.”
The Taliban Political Chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who has been involved in the fruitless talks with the American occupiers in Doha, Qatar, over the past year-and-a-half agreed, saying: "We do not trust the US an inch and will fight any group that is a mercenary for Washington.”
He was highly critical of the US for breaking its commitments to the deals supposedly worked out so far but without any tangible results, and added that all ethnic groups and tribes should play a role in shaping the future of Afghanistan.
This obvious change of stance suggests the Taliban are prepared to cooperate with the government in Kabul through negotiations for proper distribution of power, along with respect for the political and religious rights of all other groups, including the Persian-speaking Tajiks, and the Shi’a Muslim Hazara.
This is the only way for not only ensuring peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan, but cutting the hands of the meddling Americans, who of late have flown in the macabrely murderous Daesh terrorists to destabilize Afghanistan through indiscriminate bomb blasts and targeted killing of Shi’a Muslims, who make up some 30 percent of the country’s population.
Washington’s nature is hegemonic, if not satanic, and it feeds on tensions all over the world. It hates to see Afghanistan stand on its own feet and strive towards national unity and collective development, with the help of friendly neighbours.
That is the reason the US is trying to prolong its occupation by sowing the seeds of discords among the Afghan Muslims. Moreover, the Americans are fearful that an independent Afghanistan will naturally build strong bridges with Iran, in view of the common religion, history, language, and culture shared by the two peoples.
During the talks Baradar (Brother in Persian) expressed the brotherly feeling towards the Islamic Republic of Iran by voicing his group’s readiness to help maintain the security of the border between Afghanistan and Iran.
Iran and Afghanistan have some 945 kilometers of common border, which warrant the people and governments of the two countries to ensure its stability in view of the mischievous American designs to violate it and create ill-feelings through influx of terrorists and trafficking of drugs by narcotic smugglers.
It is time the Taliban realized the danger to Afghanistan and joined other groups for coordinated measures in weeding out the Daesh terrorists for the sake of national and Islamic unity.