All foreign forces in Afghanistan are considered occupiers, a top Taliban official tells Press TV, stressing that the United States should pull out all its military and civilian personnel from the country except its diplomats.
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday, alleging that the militant group and the United States had agreed on the matter.
“They have accepted that all Americans except their diplomats should leave Afghanistan and this issue is clearly written,” he said in an interview with Press TV's Face to Face program.
“All NATO forces and their allies in Afghanistan must leave Afghanistan, and even those who were nominated to protect their embassies were rejected by us, because if we come to the government of Afghanistan, we are responsible for protecting their embassies and diplomats,” added the official.
‘US, NATO can’t provide security'
The US and the Western military alliance of NATO, Khairkhwa said, were incapable of providing Afghanistan with security.
Had the Americans been capable of securing Afghanistan, they would have done so over their 20-year-long occupation of the country, which saw some 150,000 foreign forces entering the Central Asian territory, he said.
“How can they bring us security?” he asked, and warned that if given the chance, Washington would always try to find a pretext to bring in troops, whether it was training the Afghan forces or providing security for the American interests in Afghanistan.
‘No use for Americans to return’
Khairkhwa also said the history of foreign military interventions in Afghanistan, as was the case with the British and Russian invasions, showed that such militarism was doomed to fail.
He, therefore, predicted that if the United States sought to re-enter Afghanistan following its current troop pullout, it would end up suffering the same fate as it has over the past 20 years.
“Because when someone enters someone's house and fights there, the owner of the house will fight back as long as he lives. And if the Americans want to return, the same process of 20 years ago will be repeated. It is no use for them, nor is it of any use for us…,” the official noted.
Taliban after formation of ‘common govt.’
The official was also asked about the May-present escalation in the Taliban’s aggression and the goals that the group could be seeking by ramping up the violence.
Khairkhwa claimed that the group prioritized “political solutions” and “negotiation” over the armed offensive.
“We are trying to find solutions that are a good way for the people to elect a government, whether it is in the form of a council and a settlement, or in some other way, is now on the table for negotiation,” he said.
The group, he alleged, would close the door to all negotiation if it were completely against it.
‘Taliban advance, govt. fall inevitable’
The Taliban official, however, stressed that neither the group’s advances nor the incumbent government’s fall were to be helped.
“You see, the districts are very easily conquered” by the Taliban, which “have the ability to conquer the big cities” too.
He cited the example of the government that was propped up by the Soviets, but “could not survive and finally fell.”
“As for the current government, the people know that it will not last. That is why the fall is underway,” he said.
Khairkhwa claimed that the “elders” had not yet ordered any offensive against large cities, including the capital Kabul, and that the group would prioritize negotiation and political agreement concerning the manner of their control in the future.
The official, nevertheless, appeared not to be ruling out armed action targeting the cities by saying, “We use precaution so that, God forbid, it does not cause massive casualties.”
Why hasn’t the Taliban been fighting Daesh?
Khairkhwa was asked about the reason why the Taliban had not been fighting the foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh, which it considers another occupying entity, for some time.
The official said the hiatus had been brought about as a result of the sporadic nature of Daesh’s presence in Afghanistan, adding that the group would have kept up its fight if the Takfiris “had a headquarters.”
He also described Daesh’s ideology as “deviant” and claimed that the Taliban’s mindset differed from that of the terrorist outfit.
‘Taliban, Saudi Arabia not as close as before’
The Taliban official also said the group and Saudi Arabia’s relations did not have their former quality.
“We do not have the same connection we had before…We haven't had any public trips to Saudi Arabia,” he said.
He also said if the Saudi regime sought to fund so-called “religious schools” in Afghanistan, the funding had to go through the government and the ministry of education instead of going straight to the schools.
What becomes of Afghanistan’s foreign policy if Taliban triumph?
Meanwhile, the Taliban official claimed that the group would try to maintain relations with Muslim countries, including the neighboring ones such as Iran, if it rose to power in Afghanistan.
He alleged, though, that Afghanistan would not be allowed to lean extensively in any direction if the group assumed power.