Taliban’s Makeover: Fact Or Fiction? | Reality Check

Taliban’s Makeover: Fact Or Fiction? | Reality Check

you’re watching reality check as the taliban advance across afghanistan with lightning speed taking province after province the world and the people of afghanistan are watching with alarm will this be a return to the taliban of old or has the taliban as for its own claims turned a new leaf joining me to attempt to answer some of those questions is muhammad sahil shaheen he’s a taliban spokesperson who joins us from doha in qatar where the taliban actually has a political office and has spokespersons like mr shaheen thank you very much indeed soil chain for talking to us on ndtv now just to understand from your point of view we are seeing the situation on the ground change very very fast in afghanistan the world or the general estimates is that you already control about two-thirds of territory and you’ve seized close to almost 12 provincial capitals is that is that your estimate as well that that’s that’s how much territory you now control yes we control almost 90 percent of the tree of afghanistan and about 15 provincial centers to us yes that’s the status quo and what about kabul do you believe kabul is is likely to fall under your control and if so by when we have capability to take kabul but we give a way to negotiation to succeed to reach a peaceful solution even before though we had capability to to capture provincial centers in districts but we were giving the chance to negotiation because our policy is reaching a peaceful solution of the afghan issue because in that case we can have a durable piece in the country so that is our policy but unfortunately on the day of eid the head of the kabul administration he announced a six-month military operation against us and then launched huge mass offensive uh in bagla against our position in helmand provinces that started the uh falling of provinces to us when we reacted to the offensive no no but mr shaheen surely it’s the other way round it was it was the taliban that launched a huge offensive the moment the americans announced their pull out you if you launched the offensive if you see the uh the following of the provinces started after uh the uh military strategy or military operation for six months were announced by ashlani the head of the kabul administration before that there was we were restraining our forces to take provincial centers and secondly about your other question that we launched offensive no because we are here in afghanistan you are far away only seeing the reports which are many of the reports are against us and bias to us okay the ground reality is that uh we started uh the negotiation we wanted to have the negotiation with them but unfortunately they were not willing to release our prisoners as per the doha agreement okay but let me ask you this because on one hand you say that you want peace and you want negotiations and that this is a new taliban but if you look at what is happening on the ground there are multiple reports of your forces committing atrocities for example 22 and we’ll play the video it went viral 22 afghan soldiers who surrendered were executed by the taliban this was in faryab province in in mid-july this is uh what i say the propaganda the baseless report that is why i told you you are only receiving the baseless report that we will do is a fake video it is two parts uh splice with each other there is no case of our people killing those who have surrendered to us it is nothing such happened what about what about the killing of the of the comedian there was this you know he was a comedian he was also i mean he was a police official who who also was a comedian he made people laugh again he was captured and executed the video was on the screen first he was not comedian he was commander arabic militia commander secondly that he was not uh arrested or detained by the security uh forces of the islamic emirate or the police of the islamic emergence of right he was yes uh arrested by some unscrupulous person affiliated with us but that person is arrested he is on trial now the person who killed them were not taliban no they they were not official taliban the the the police of taliban who arrested them because we have the policy we have uh announced a mystery to all that they can live their life but they are there if there is anyone such cases who against our policy as uh taking the law into his hand and when something he is uh is arrested and tried in the court and he will see uh his pen punishment what about the media because again i’ve seen statements from your leaders saying you you know freedom of expression but as you may know a journalist from india danish siddiqui was was killed by your fighters you can’t say by our fighters you will ask him why he didn’t coordinate with us when he we have announced to journalists not once many times if they want to come to our areas to places please coordinate with us we will provide you security but he was embedded with the security forces of kabul there was no difference whether they are the security for policemen or malaysias or the soldiers of kabul are a journalist among them so he was killed during during he was killed during cross firing so it is not known or he was killed by who’s firing no but he was he was after he was killed he was mutilated further no that i that allegation i have already rejected the two three times it is not our policy that it is not our policy if it is mutilated by the kabul security forces for our um alignment for giving us a bad name that is possible this up to them ask them but our politics are especially odd that they will not mutilate anyone because it is against the rule of islam so you’re saying that we can mutilate the body of this body of anyone okay so but you’re saying that if journalists like even like myself were to approach you and say we want to come to your areas and we want to film with what and you would allow that yes yes uh we have a program for all your journalists around the world when they want to come to our areas to file their reports they can come and they are welcomed to even we have announced that uh media outlets can open their uh branches in our areas to see the ground realities with their own eyes okay but tell me mr shahin because this is again all part of what many believe is an attempt by you to make over for example again we’ve seen statements by our leaders saying women will have rights to work they will have the right to education but there have been reports wall street journal most recently about how your own taliban leaders have actually passed edicts that women young women will be forcibly married off to taliban commanders widows will be forcibly married off to your taliban commanders not at all it is not correct it is a fake propaganda that is why i am saying that you are only receiving the fake videos the fake reports that was one of the voicemail message of nba’s okay person in badakshan who spread this and grooves and also give the that to media outlets uh it is we have reputed i refuted this as a viewer as i reported and also dr name reported who or the spokesman that it is wrong it is against the rules of islam to force a person to force a person to give his daughter in marriage how it is it is not possible we rejected this our leaders have rejected this so it is a fake us something fake okay well but but about about women though because because when you were ruling afghanistan between 96 to 2001 a women were banned from education they were banned from working they couldn’t leave home without a male escort there were public stonings and executions will that continue if you come back yes yes at that time we were in war there was a domestic war in afghanistan but even with that we had a medical faculty and 400 breeded hospital in kabul do you know about that we had a night skin school girls nuts in school and jalalabad have you heard about that and we have we had uh house schools all over afghanistan okay in all main cities kabul mazari sharif and those things but no one was uh reporting about that because okay but you’re now saying on malaya ninjas and spread it prophet against us as it is right now okay but but aren’t you worried uh sir that more and more governments are saying around the world that they will not recognize you they will not give you legitimacy or support or funds if you’re seizing territory by force i don’t know about the those countries who they recognize a government imposed by aircrafts and bombs and the people of afghanistan but they do not recognize a government which is supported and upheld by the people of afghanistan which the people of afghanistan want that is their biased posturing i think but uh as i said earlier our policies tourism to reach a peaceful solution that to have a an avron inclusive government in the country that all abraham see themselves in that government and they have a participation that is our policy we we hope to reach that goal do you do you consider do you consider india a friend or an enemy you can ask this question i think from the indian options are they they look to the people of afghanistan we the people of afghanistan consider them as a friend or as enemy no i mean i’m asking you as does the taliban consider india a friend or the enemy so it is i think again up to them if they provide uh weapons uh bombs elimination to american regime to kill the people of afghanistan and to destroy our infrastructure and our archers our villages that is really an act of enmity in hostility but if they do something for the people of afghanistan that is for the prosperity of the people of afghanistan that would be considered otherwise not hospitality but you have been talking to india the taliban has been in talks with india where when well you would know better than me but from what we hear there have been negotiations perhaps in doha perhaps elsewhere no about the those reports i have heard i can’t confirm that because at the basis of my information such thing have uh has not happened but of course yesterday there was a meeting in which also a delegation from india had participated and our delegation also participated in that meeting and that meeting was uh uh by uh uh those countries who are supporting uh peace and reconciliation in afghanistan you know there was three meetings here in dalha there was a meeting of different countries and which also in the world indian delegation had taken apart and what would you say mr shaheen to to the claim made by india in many countries that you are backed by pakistan you are a force backed by the pakistan government by the pakistani isi the spy agency i i think it is baseless allegation as ever and when it is raised from your country it is more originating from your rivalry with pakistan not on not based on the ground realities in afghanistan and how it is possible that if there were not the people of afghanistan resisting against occupation that another country far away or a few people can fight against invasion and a superpower and other more than 50 countries for 20 years and still they grow their property grow so that is the people of afghanistan okay based on realities rather they are i think uh politically motivated but you know you you say that and yet you have shura’s taliban surahs all based in pakistan named after pakistani towns the kweta shura but you say it’s basis let me just ask you in conclusion though sir that but uh how have you seen here there is a crater there will be a building there okay there will be a place here last question only name name only name okay can you show me where is the this show are located in which street in which road and which road last okay last question mr shine that the fear is if you return once again afghanistan will become safe haven for terrorist groups like like daesh isis al-qaeda i think the daesh they surrendered it is a fact last year in jalalabad and ningrahar and also in kunar they were about 2600 to the kabul administration they are now in kabul with the kabul administration they there are reports that they are using them and some horrendous uh incidents but when we are there in afghanistan as we are and we have uh the government uh in our hand uh there is our commitment on the basis of doha agreement that will not allow not allow anyone any group any individual to use the silo of afghanistan against any country that is our commitment it is our clear policy and we consider it it is part of our national in interest okay that’s that’s a commitment we will that you’ve made on on television and publicly and we’ll certainly hold you to it but thank you very much indeed thank you very much indeed shine for uh for joining us and taking all our questions appreciate it thank you very much thank you okay that was soil shane there the taliban spokesperson now we’ve got a panel lined up we’ve got uh lot fuller najaf zadha head of tolo news tv the main big channel in afghanistan so anthony heather national and diplomatic affairs editors the hindu is with us uh ambassador to afghanistan his apologies by the way for all of you for keeping you waiting but let me just ask you lord fuller that what do you make of this new supposedly moderate taliban uh are you convinced of it uh is the ground reality different and also are you are you worried about your own excellent you know news channel you’ve run for all these years with them advancing i think the country is really worried uh the taliban taking at least three major cities in the past day is very very alarming they are getting closer to kabul i think the people of kabul are very worried uh the people of the provinces they have come to kabul in in thousands if you go around town you see uh parks are filled with idps uh uh displaced people um so it’s really really i’ve you know i’ve never seen something like this in kappa in the past 20 years so i i think the morale is very low and there is a meeting going on right now at the presidential palace we should expect president hani to make some announcements in a couple hours right to see if that’s going to help a taliban stop attacking the city but but lord follow about my question about do you think that the taliban as we just heard the spokesperson claim oh where you know media can report what they want all do you believe any of that and are you also worried about your own news operations i think dozens of media outlets in taliban control districts and cities have been shut down in the past in the past weeks and in some and some in some places we know that they went and demanded censorship at the end given them editorial directions uh which is certainly which is certainly something that the afghan media is not very familiar with um we are very proud of press freedom in our country which is quite unique i think i think that is at risk that’s a great risk we are at a situation now that we don’t know what’s going to happen in 24 hours my god but at the moment though your your journalists are out there reporting and are they able to report are they okay we’ve shut down bureaus in the provinces but in kabul yes we’re fully operational uh we produce uh 30 plus news stories a day we invite 3 000 people a month on our program so those things do do happen um i think um as i said the cloud of uncertainty is is everywhere is so thick that it can overshadow everything so um i think the visibility is very very limited right very very concerning so harshly what do you make of this with this complete almost disconnect between what the you know particularly the political faces of the taliban in doha and elsewhere versus what’s happening on the ground i i think it is extremely worrying from what mr shaheen said and of course you asked him all the questions that are on so many people’s minds about what a taliban regime really in afghanistan is going to mean for the country for its people as well as for its neighbors uh but he didn’t answer the basic question which is why is the taliban attempting to take the country by force why is there this uh this violent takeover happening at all if everything is so um uh you know is simple and uh the regime and power is unpopular and only the taliban is popular then why is there this need for uh violence at all uh and the answer is that the taliban in boha has been speaking in in in a very different voice from the taliban on the ground mr shaheen now says that he’s in control uh but just a few weeks ago when asked about atrocities by commanders he it’s not all good um the truth is that the taliban is on the ground very purposefully taking over territory by force with an idea to push the gunny government into some kind of a surrender um and it is being helped by the fact that talks continue in doha that every country wants to engage the taliban in gohan for some reason why is no country and i and and india is included in this making the basic point that no talks can happen with the taliban until there is a ceasefire until violence ends right that is the that is that is the way that uh uh you know civilized society runs it cannot be that i will continue to shoot people until yeah and the rest of the international community just sits there newly and i will add including india that is sending delegations to goa um uh to to talk while um while they do this on the ground you agree that india should just suspend talks no until the violence taliban puts down guns or difficult sorry uh ambassador i think you’re on mute uh if you could just well no i’m happy to hear this you know what is happening really is uh yes worrying worrying is an understatement uh but of course i heard his uh comments to you uh it was a dissimulation a masterly destibulation and half truths uh he didn’t answer any specific question all the inconvenient questions either he didn’t have an answer or he blamed somebody else he blames the government for killing its own people destroying its building et cetera et cetera but the fact is what’s what is saying that they are determined to take power by force and what you are seeing is not really a civil war in fact we tend to downplay it when we say that this is violation of human rights so this is a civil war happening it’s neither of those this is absolute genocide and this is a full fledger in vision of afghanistan which is going to destruct the nation state and mark my words and they’re not going to stop at that rest of course is all debatable you know now two months ago he was talking differently about india and what all india has done and how they would want india to continue today he says that they are supporting the government uh to kill its own people uh and if and to your question whether uh india is an enemy or a friendly country he sidestepped it he says ask afghan people but i think polls after polls over the years have asked that question sure and i think the answer is very clear so i won’t i will take it with a great pinch of salt sure but the question is if he’s telling the truth then obviously they have doha office has lost control on the battleground completely so obviously concessions are being made to the wrong people we are all very very worried and watching from india and around the world but we’re out of time thank you all so much for joining us on reality check thank you so much for watching [Music]
rn

Taliban\'s Makeover: Fact Or Fiction? | Reality Check

rn

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *