A Taliban representative told Newsweek in an interview Monday that the jihadist organization will, if permitted, play an indispensable role on the international stage in fighting climate change, among other supposed global challenges.
The magazine discussed the potential of the Taliban, now in power as Afghanistan’s government for over a week, to receive recognition from the international community as a legitimate governing body. The Taliban is a radical Islamist terrorist organization, designated as such not only by the United States, but by nations now apparently pressuring international institutions to accept it, most prominently the government of Russia.
Taliban terrorists launched a nationwide assault on the corrupt former government in April following months of peace negotiations with that government and the United States. The terrorists, formerly in power in Afghanistan from 1996 through the U.S. invasion of the country in 2001, agreed to a deal with former President Donald Trump that would have seen American troops leave the country by May 1, 2021, in exchange for the Taliban cutting ties with international terrorists like al-Qaeda and ceasing attacks on foreign forces. President Joe Biden refused to honor the agreement, announcing in April that he would maintain a military presence in the country through September 11 — the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that triggered the Afghan War. The Taliban launched 22,000 attacks between April and July, according to Afghanistan’s now-defunct State Ministry for Peace.
The Taliban surrounded Kabul on Sunday, August 15, prompting ex-President Ashraf Ghani to abruptly flee the country. Taliban terrorists have been in charge since.
The terrorist group’s spokesmen have emphasized the use of moderate language in interviews with the public, insisting they are in the process of building an “inclusive,” but sharia-compliant, government. They have repeatedly claimed they would respect women’s rights — a far cry from the widespread human rights atrocities committed against women and girls during their first tenure and atrocities documented nationwide in the past week.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, confirmed to Newsweek that Taliban leaders seek to instill trust in their rule in the international community, not just the Afghan people. Their ambition, Balkhi asserted, was to be welcomed among the world’s legitimate governments and offered a proper platform.
“We hope not only to be recognized by regional countries but the entire world at large as the legitimate representative government of the people of Afghanistan,” Balkhi said, “who have gained their right of self-determination from a foreign occupation with the backing and support of an entire nation after a prolonged struggle and immense sacrifices despite all odds being stacked against our people.”
Balkhi added that the Taliban generally see a “unique opportunity” to join the world in combating climate change and other international issues.
“We believe the world has a unique opportunity of rapprochement and coming together to tackle the challenges not only facing us but the entire humanity,” Balkhi said, “and these challenges ranging from world security and climate change need the collective efforts of all.”
Balkhi warned that victory against climate change, among other issues, “cannot be achieved if we exclude or ignore an entire people who have been devastated by imposed wars for the past four decades.”
The Taliban’s top two spokesmen, Suhail Shaheen and Zabihullah Mujahid, have not offered many specifics on what the Taliban intends to do regarding its foreign policy outside of aggressively seeking foreign investment to ensure the “stability” of the terrorist regime. Shaheen railed against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week for freezing Afghanistan’s assets in response to the collapse of the legitimate government; Mujahid has called on global corporations to seek partnerships with the Taliban on infrastructure and development of natural resource industries.
In their attempts to woo global investors, the two spokesmen have promised an “inclusive” government led by radical Islamist clerics. The word “inclusive” appears to refer to attempts to ensure that radical Islamist clerics representing all Afghan ethnic groups have a seat at the table. They have also claimed that women would have a say in the government, but only so far as their radical interpretation allows.
Several countries with significant leverage at international institutions like the United Nations have signaled that they are interested in recognizing the Taliban as the formal government of Afghanistan, most prominently Russia, Iran, and China. China’s Foreign Ministry and state media have promoted recognition of the Taliban, or at least respect for it as a political organization, on the basis of the terrorists allegedly representing the will of the Afghan people. The state-run propaganda outlet Global Times eagerly encouraged the world to dismiss the Taliban’s extremely poor human rights record this week, particularly its atrocities against women.
“Some people in China now use human rights issues, such as women’s rights, as the primary standard to decide if they will like the new regime in Afghanistan,” Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin wrote on Monday, calling such an approach “impulsive and irrational.”
Iran admitted to material support to the Taliban in the form of gasoline and other fuel sales this week, following the Taliban dropping tariffs on Iranian imports by 70 percent upon seizing power.