Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers



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He asked the neighbouring countries to stop intervention in Afghanistan and let the Afghans live in peace and decide their future themselves. Leader of Pakistan People's Party and former interior minister Maj Gen (retd) Naseerullah Babar expressed deep resentment over the US attacks on Afghanistan and condemned Pakistan government's support to them. He said it was very unfortunate that all efforts of Pakistan for the past 28 years were washed away by a decision of a "coward leader".
He said the support of Northern Alliance to the US and its allies has further triggered the chances of Afghanistan's disintegration. He said these attacks would cause colossal losses to human lives, who are already ravaged by the continued decades long war.
He said ulema [religious scholars] including Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maulana Samiul Haq, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani and others should have gone to Afghanistan a week ago along with their families to boost the morale of the Taliban and Afghans.
He condemned them for sitting in their homes in peace and just shouting hollow slogans. In Batkhela, Jamiat Ahle Hadith Nooristan leader Maulana Taj Muhammad Nooristani of Afghanistan said the US attacks on Afghanistan will further increase the anger against America in the Muslim world.
He blamed both the Taliban and Northern Alliance for the present situation in Afghanistan and said their internal differences gave an opportunity to the US to intervene in Afghanistan. He said if Pakistan extended logistic support to the US in attacks on Afghanistan, the government will face tough resistance from the people who are with their Afghan brethrens in their time of distress. In Orakzai Agency, the religious leaders decided to extend all-out support to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the wake of US attacks.
A meeting held at Darul Uloom Zargari was attended by religious scholars from Orakzai, Kurram, Khyber, North Waziristan and South Waziristan agencies. It was decided that all ulema would work under the leadership of Mualana Fazlur Rahman to prepare people for jihad in Afghanistan. Leader of Pakistan People's Party (Sherpao) Sikandar Hayat Sherpao expressed concern over the US attacks on Afghanistan but said these were inevitable due to the inflexible attitude of the Taliban regime. In a statement the younger Sherpao said the air strikes were aimed at targeting terrorist camps and their collaborators.
He hoped the US-led coalition would adopt all precautionary measures and make the operation short and objective-oriented to ensure the safety of Afghan civilians. The PPP leader regretted the miseries of Afghan people, saying they should not be subjected to further sufferings. In Mingora, the Tehrik Nafaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi's central leader Maulana Sufi Muhammad termed the US attacks on Afghanistan as un-Islamic and said in these circumstances Jihad was mandatory on each and every Muslim. He was addressing an emergency meeting of the Tehrik's central shura at its headquarters in Aman Dara.
The shura warned the government of Pakistan of armed struggle in case it provided airspace and ground facilities to the US for attacks on Afghanistan. The meeting renewed its pledge of unconditional support to the JUI in its efforts against the US attacks on Afghanistan. Sufi Muhammad said the activists of TNSM would soon join the Taliban in Afghanistan for Jihad against the US.
He said the TNSM has started preparations for sending youth for jihad to Afghanistan and was now registering names of volunteers. In Hangu, NWFP Amir of JUI Maulana Amanullah announced the waging of jihad against the US following its aggression on Afghanistan. He said the US aggression on Afghanistan has once again awakened the Muslims and there would be an open war against the US and its allies. Amanullah said President Musharraf was "the American puppet" and his decision has caused insecurity among the people.
He said the president's decision would have far-reaching affect on the future of our society. He was addressing a Dastar Bandi function at Jamia Uloomi Islamia Zargari, Hangu. In Hangu, the JUI has arranged a lashkar (force) of thousands of youth for jihad in Afghanistan. The lashkar will move towards Afghanistan after meeting with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Commander Jalaluddin Haqqani in Khost.
[Description of Source: Islamabad The News in English -- Independent daily, member of the Jang Publishing Group]

Chief of Taliban army contacts Jamaat-i-Islami chief


SAP20011013000020 Karachi Jasarat in Urdu 11 Oct 01 pp 1 7
[KPI report: "Taliban leadership contacts Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad"]
Peshawar - The chief of the Taliban Army, Jalaluddin Haqqani, has contacted Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the central chief of Jamaat-i-Islami, and exchanged views on deciding on a strategy with regard to the new Afghan situation. Qazi Hussain Ahmad disclosed his contact with Jalaluddin Haqqani while replying to a question during a meet-the-press program at the Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday [10 October]. He said that the Taliban leadership had contacted Jamaat-i-Islami in writing. He said Jamaat-i-Islami would play the same role as it had played against the Soviet Union.
[Description of Source: Karachi Jasarat in Urdu -- Jamaat-i-Islami newspaper catering to the Islamic audience]

Taliban officials deny any differences with Mullah Omar


SAP20011013000022 Islamabad Pakistan in Urdu 11 Oct 01 pp 1 7
[Special report: "Mullah Abdul Kabir and Jalaluddin Haqqani are loyalists of Mullah Omar: Spokesman"]
Islamabad - Mullah Abdul Kabir, Taliban's finance minister and governor of Nangarhar province, and Gen. Jalaluddin Haqqani, the chief of the Taliban forces in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, have appealed to the media to be careful about reports concerning the Taliban government. In a statement on Wednesday [10 October], they said that they had taken an oath of allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid and they were his loyalists in spite of all US conspiracies. They said differences could never be created between them. Qari Hafeezur Rehman appealed to the nation to pray to God for the Afghan brothers who desperately needed their prayers in this hour of difficulty and to donate medicines, warm clothes, blankets, and tents at the Afghan Embassy.
[Description of Source: Islamabad Pakistan in Urdu -- Widely read daily generally supportive of the Pakistan Muslim League]
Pakistan daily: Taliban warn of long guerrilla war; say Usama Bin Ladin alive
SAP20011020000024 Islamabad The News (Internet Version-WWW) in English 20 Oct 01
[Report by Aslam Khan: "Taliban warn of long guerrilla war; Army chief warns Pakistan will lose strategic depth to India"]
ISLAMABAD: The Taliban have prepared a strategy to start a long guerrilla war from the mountains against any invading troops that seize their cities and a new government that is formed there to wage "a never-ending war to free Afghanistan again from invaders."
This was stated here Friday in an exclusive interview to The News by the legendary Mujahideen commander Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, the commander-in-chief of the Taliban's southern military command -- akin to the Taliban army chief -- and Mullah Omar's top military strategist and commander.
"We will retreat to the mountains and begin a long guerrilla war to reclaim our pure land from infidels and free our country again like we did against the Soviets," Haqqani, the man who has planned the current
Taliban military strategy against the American attacks, which has resulted in incredibly low casualties despite the magnitude of the air attack, said. Haqqani, who is also responsible for the safety of Osama bin Laden, was speaking from an undisclosed location inside Pakistan. His son, Naseeruddin Haqqani, served as the interpreter for his legendary father, the only commander of the Mujahideen that fought the Soviets who was allowed by the Taliban to remain in their ranks.
Following is the transcription of the recorded interview:
Q: In case US forces take over main cities such as Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad, will Taliban surrender? If not, will they attack these cities to reclaim them?
Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani: First of all, it is next to impossible for the Americans to do so. Remember that the Soviet also controlled several of Afghan cities once. What happened to them? We [the Taliban] never had a single city but look at us now.
Even if the Americans or others manage to [capture Afghan cities] and a new government is installed there, we will not accept it. We will retreat to the mountains and begin a long guerrilla war to reclaim our pure land from infidels and free our country again like we did against the Soviets.
Q: How do you plan to deal with a ground invasion by American troops?
A: We are eagerly awaiting the American troops to land on our soil, where we will deal with them in our own way. I tell you the Soviets were a brave enemy and their soldiers could withstand tough conditions. The Americans are creatures of comfort. They will not be able to sustain the harsh conditions that await them.
Let me also tell you that the Soviets fulfilled their commitments with even their enemies and Muslims, whereas the Americans are untrustworthy and betray even their friends what to speak of enemies. Afghanistan will prove to be the graveyard of the Americans.
Q: What is the Taliban's view of a broad-based national government?
A: The Afghans are with the Taliban simply because it is an Islamic government. The so-called broad-based national government will by its very nature be secular, which will never be acceptable to the Afghans.
No one from the Taliban will be a part of such an unacceptable government, which will be filled with American, Russian and Indian stooges.
Q: What do you make of Pakistan's support for a broad-based national government for Afghanistan?
A: Let me remind you that on Pakistan's Eastern border is India -- Pakistan's perennial enemy. With the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Pakistan has an unbeatable 2,300 km strategic depth, which even President Pervez Musharraf has proudly proclaimed. Does Pakistan really want a new government, which will include pro-India people in it, thereby wiping out this strategic depth?
I tell you, the security and stability of Pakistan and Afghanistan are intertwined. Together, we are strong but separately we are weak.
Q: What is the current status of Afghan defences against the American military strikes?
A: We have so far held on to our defences. There is no retreat from anywhere. The military strikes have miserably failed to inflict any serious or crippling damage to our defences.
Q: How many Afghans have been killed so far in the air raids?
A: Around 450 Afghans have so far been martyred in the cowardly American strikes.
Q: How many prominent members of the Taliban government been killed?
A: Not a single important leader or military commander of the Taliban has been killed in the past 12 days of constant US bombardment. Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden and all other commanders are safe and sound and carrying out their duties. However, about 25 Taliban soldiers have been martyred.
Q: Have all the planes and helicopters in Taliban possession been destroyed as reported?
A: This is all propaganda. Only one military helicopter and two Ariana Airlines passenger planes have sustained damages. The rest of the planes are safe.
Q: Are Osama bin Laden and his group of Arabs helping the Taliban in defending Afghanistan?
A: We don't think in terms of nationalities like Arab, Indian or Pakistani. All with us all Afghans. Whoever migrates to Afghanistan in the name of Islam, we consider them all Afghans be they from Saudi Arabia, Britain, Chechnya, Pakistan, India or any other country of the world. And yes, we are all fighting this war together.
Q: What plans do Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have to deal with potential attack on their suspected positions?
A: I told you. We are all fighting together.
Q: Why did Osama bin Laden not accept the Ulema's recommendation that he leave Afghanistan?
A: The Afghan Ulema never ordered Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan.
What they actually said was that he is free to decide for himself.
Neither did we call him nor will we send him away. We have neither kept him by force in Afghanistan nor will we force him out.
Q: How true are the reports of defections in Taliban ranks?
A: There is absolutely no truth in such claims. The propagandists had claimed that Qazi Abdul Hye of Sar-e-Pul region in the north had defected along with his forces. This claim was made when he was cut off some days ago in a siege by the Northern Alliance.
However, after he broke through the siege, he and everyone of his 4,000 soldiers was back. He is a great scholar of Islam as well as a great military commander. And he is definitely with us. No defections at all.
Q: Is Mullah Omar ready to quit as the Taliban leader and hand over power to an acceptable person who can negotiate a ceasefire in order to save the Afghans or to surrender Osama bin Laden?
A: We pledged allegiance at his hands and made him the Amir-ul-Momineen (leader of the faithful). As long as he keeps serving Islam and Shariat, we will never leave him and he will remain our leader. Why should he step down? Who are others to demand that Mullah Omar should step down?
We don't like George Bush. Why doesn't he step down and someone sensible take his place in America?
Q: When was the last time that you met Osama bin Laden?
A: Of course, I can't answer that for security reasons. However, let me state clearly that Osama bin Laden is not only safe and sound, he is also in good spirits.
Q: How many countries support the Taliban?
A: There are several countries that support us including very important ones. But for obvious reasons I am not going to name them. We can understand that America is dangerous and it will harm any country that openly comes to our support. So the countries that support us have the right not to do so openly, which they are doing.
Q: Gulbadin Hikmetyar has announced to fight along side the Taliban. Will you accept him in your ranks or try him for various crimes as the Taliban earlier pledged?
A: We have a tradition whereby when an external, common enemy threatens the Afghans, we set aside our internal differences and unite against the threat. Besides, Mullah Omar is the final authority to decide whether we will accept Hikmetyar's help or not.
Q: How did you come to Pakistan? Did you use a visa?
A: I am also the [Taliban] minister for border regions. Our tribes are settled on both sides of the Durand Line since ages. Our houses are divided on both sides of the border. Both sides are my home. Pakistan is my home. And besides, my migration hasn't ended.

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News in English -- Independent daily, member of the Jang Publishing Group]


Pakistan daily: Scathing attack on cleric directed against Taliban army chief


SAP20011020000021 Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu 20 Oct 01 p 2
[Article by Hamid Mir: "The attack on Maulana Samiul Haq"]
The most powerful country of the world is showering bombs and missiles on the weakest country of the world, for the past two weeks. The United States thought that the Taliban would be perished in two or three days, but it is yet to achieve any big success in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the world opinion is not willing to accept the US attacks on Afghanistan as war against terrorism.
Pressure is also being mounted on the United States to begin ground offensives along with air attacks, in response to which commandos have been dropped in Afghanistan.
The United States fully knows that a pitched battle against the Taliban would not be possible for its forces on the terrain of Afghanistan. That is why it is letting loose a vigorous propaganda campaign against the Taliban, as a tool of psychological warfare.
Just a few days ago, a report was published in the New York Times and a Pakistani English newspaper about the defection of Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil. The purpose was to mobilize some Taliban commanders to come to Peshawar and address a press conference.
After the failure of this move, a psychological onslaught was initiated against the Taliban. Under this campaign, a report was published, stating that the head of one of the biggest seminaries of the North West Frontier Province had assured the secret service agencies of his cooperation in catching Usama bin Ladin. The name of the head of the religious school was not mentioned in the report, but it was a clear reference to Maulana Samiul Haq.
The Maulana called me the next morning, saying that the report was directed against him -- with the purpose of discouraging the people and creating misunderstanding among the Pakistani clerics and the Taliban.
He said that if a liberal and moderate journalist does not like Usama bin Ladin, he is free to criticize the latter but should, at least, avoid publishing false reports.
However, the fact of the matter is that such journalists thrive on false reports.
The amazing thing is that the journalist spreading misinformation about Maulana Samiul Haq is sitting in Karachi, publishing expert analysis on the situation in Afghanistan, for the past two months.
The former ISI chief, General Mahmood in Islamabad, called Maulana Samiul Haq, along with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani and Qazi Hussain Ahmad several weeks ago. The purpose of the meeting was to convince them to meet Mullah Omar in Kandahar and have him hand over Usama bin Ladin. But they all expressed their inability to do so.
Since then, at least, Maulana Samiul Haq has not been contacted by any secret agency.
However, one of the major Pakistani dailies claimed that the Maulana was active against Usama bin Ladin, in connivance with the secret agencies.
There are several reasons behind such reports. First, Maulana Samiul Haq had exposed the US plan to attack Afghanistan ahead of the 11 September incidents, following which he set up the Defense of Afghanistan Council.
Second, in the past, he had held meetings with Usama bin Ladin, and some important figures in the Taliban hierarchy are graduates of his Dar-ul-Uloom (The house of knowledge, name used for Islamic seminary) Haqqaniah.
The Taliban ambassador in Islamabad frequently visits Akora Khattak (the hometown of Maulana Samiul Haq in the NWFP) for consulting the Maulana on different matters.
The new army chief of the Taliban, Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani, has remained a student and a teacher at the Dar-ul-Uloom. He had also taken an active part in the election campaign of Maulana Abdul Haq, the father of Maulana Samiul Haq, in the 1970 general elections in Pakistan.
When the Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Maulvi Haqqani returned to Paktia Province of Afghanistan to take part in jihad, at the order of Maulana Abdul Haq.
In 1996, Usama bin Ladin was the guest of Maulvi Haqqani in Jalalabad, and it was through the latter that the relationship flourished between the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin.
The appointment of Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, commander-in-chief of the Taliban forces, is being construed as the direct involvement of Usama bin Ladin in the military planning of the Taliban.
Jalaluddin Haqqani commands respect among some commanders of the Northern Alliance as well. And, in his presence, the chances of a rebellion in the Taliban rank and file have greatly minimized.
Therefore, to blemish Haqqani's credibility, a scathing attack was made against his teacher, Maulana Samiul Haq.
However, this attack has not worked. Maulana Samiul Haq says that though he is an old man; he would expose the black sheep among the journalists, and prove that such stories are false. He plans to do this by taking active part in the jihad of the Taliban, inside Afghanistan.

[Description of Source: Islamabad Ausaf in Urdu -- Newspaper with strong anti-India views. Gives wide coverage to fundamentalist religious groups]

Afghanistan: Taliban agree on interim leader in case of martyrdom of Mullah Omar
SAP20011020000092 Rawalpindi Jang in Urdu 20 Oct 01 pp 17
[Report by Reporter: "Taliban agree on substitute for Mullah Omar in case of his martyrdom"]
Chaman -- The Taliban militia has unanimously agreed on a substitute for Mullah Omar, if the latter is martyred.
They have also expressed their determination to remain united until the end, even after their leader is martyred.
Taliban sources told daily Jang from Kandahar that the Taliban high command, during its several days of deliberation, decided to remain united till the end.
Unflinching support was also expressed for Mullah Omar.
They decided that any one from Akhtar Usmani, Akhtar Mansoori, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil would be chosen as an interim leader, in case Mullah Omar is martyred.

[Description of Source: Rawalpindi Jang in Urdu -- Largest circulation daily]

AFP: Taliban Commander Meets Pakistan Official re: Future Government
JPP20011020000077 Hong Kong AFP in English 0030 GMT 20 Oct 01
ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (AFP) - A senior Taliban military commander has met Pakistani officials to discuss a possible broad-based government in Afghanistan, a foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday.
Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is based in the Taliban's southern stronghold of Kandahar, travelled to Pakistan to meet Pakistan officials and other Afghans this week, Pakistan foreign office spokesman Riaz Muhammad Khan told reporters.
"These meetings and discussions are basically focused on discussions regarding the assessment, future and prospects of a broad-based government," Khan said after confirming that Pakistani officials had met Haqqani.
"Many Afghans are in Pakistan and they are meeting each other," the spokesman said.
"Now Pakistan's interest as a neighbour is to know their opinion, their assessments and how they look at, in particular, the prospects of a broad-based government emerging in Afghanistan."
[Description of Source: Hong Kong AFP in English -- Hong Kong service of the independent French press agency Agence France-Presse]

Pro-Taliban Militia Leader Warns of Impending Guerrilla Wafare


EUP20011113000209 Milan Corriere della Sera in Italian 13 Nov 01 p14
[Report by Maria Grazia Cutuli: "'We Are Not Beaten; We Await Them in Our Mountains'"]
Islamabad -- The Taliban are preparing to leave the main cities of Afghanistan. After the fall of Mazar-e Sharif, the loss of Kunan, the advance on Herat and on Kabul, the fundamentalist militiamen have entered the second phase of the war in which the fighters of Allah will be entrenched in their mountain lairs, digging trenches in the desert, and setting up new lines of defense in the most inaccessible parts of the country. It is not a defeat, their supporters claim. It is simply a "strategic withdrawal" to regroup the ranks of the jihad, reviving the same guerrilla techniques used against the British invaders in the 19th century and against the Soviet troops in the eighties.
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