New Interview with Jalaluddin Haqqani

The latest issue of Nawai Afghan Jihad includes an interview with Jalaluddin Haqqani.  The interview is centered on American policy in Afghanistan and the danger America poses to the world. Little mention is made of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or the role of Pakistani extremists in Afghanistan.

To a question regarding the “propaganda unleashed by the Karzai government” that jihadi activity along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan is planned and plotted in Pakistan, Haqqani gives a rather diplomatic response: “there are passionate young men from the tribal areas who have inherited the jihadi gusto of the past (fighting the British and Soviets) and who were martyred on Afghan soil. We acknowledge and appreciate their jihadi engagement.”

Asked to comment on the signs of a changing US policy towards Afghanistan – especially, for the Karzai government to initiate “dialogue” with the Taliban – Haqqani denounces this as sheer propaganda and maintains that the “pretext” of dialogue will be used by Americans to realize its political goals, including “spreading an atmosphere of distrust amongst the mujahideen.” In fact, such heavy reliance on propaganda warfare is symptomatic of an “enemy who is losing in battle.”

The truth is, he says, that the US is “connivingly promoting its own strategy by using dialogue as a cover. In order to have a dialogue, the terms and conditions of the various parties concerned need to first be discussed. However, they believe that only they are entitled to having any conditions. The Emirate’s policies and terms with regards to dialogue are clear – the key one being that all occupying forces leave Afghanistan.”

Haqqani repeatedly refers to the US as a nation who has imposed its “arrogance and terrorism” on the whole world, and especially Afghanistan, where the root of all problems is American presence and influence.  “It is America who is targeting innocent people and putting their security at risk, and imposing a secular and corrupt government on the people of Afghanistan. A government whose notoriety – profligacy, involvement in drug smuggling, and looting of its own people – was made public by the US itself.”

However, despite his harsh views of the US, Haqqani displays a certain sympathy for Obama, suggesting that the latter “protect his people from the fire Bush pushed him into.”

In response to a question regarding his preoccupation with jihadi activities outside of the Emirate, Haqqani reassures his audience that the allegation is entirely false and a figment of the enemy’s imagination. He says “I am currently engaged with leading jihadi operations in the Khost and Paktika provinces.”

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