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On December 18, 2022, the Afghan Taliban's Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized an event to mark the formal release of a book recording the achievements and activities of the ministry since the Taliban government took control of power in Afghanistan in August-September 2021.
The book is titled, "Ministry of Foreign Affairs: One Year Achievements And Activities" and was published by the Strategic Research Center within the ministry of foreign affairs of the government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban).
Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Islamic Emirate's foreign minister, delivered the keynote speech in which he outlined how the Taliban government views the centrality of Afghanistan in international affairs, especially regarding how the country has been a site of competition between the Great Powers of the day: between the Czarist Russia and Great Britain in the 19th century, between the Soviet Russia and the United States during the 1980s, and between the U.S. and others following 9/11.
The Taliban's Urdu-language website published an Urdu-language translation of Amir Khan Muttaqi's speech. Following are excerpts from the speech, as translated from Urdu language.
"But If There Is Competition, It Will Be Positive Competition [Between Great Powers Involving Afghanistan]; It Will Be Based On Bilateral Relations; It Will Be Based On National Interests And Most Importantly It Will Be In Accordance With The Golden Principles Of Islam"
"It is the responsibility of those in charge of the Strategic Research Center that at the first opportunity, for the officials and employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then for the entire system, they should conduct such research and study that will lead to the guidance of Afghanistan, which is suffering from prolonged crises, and then make progress on the same lines.
"There is no doubt that foreign relations and policy need to be looked at very closely and proceed very cautiously. In this, the demands, interests, priorities and ideologies of other countries should be kept in mind by those who play a guiding role in foreign policy formulation and so should be aware of the interests and priorities of your country and formulate proposals that can be presented to others.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and friends sitting here are all highly educated and experienced people. Their efforts will remove the obstacles in the way of Afghanistan's development, but it is necessary to proceed very cautiously and strategically. Do not take steps that force us to turn back, do not say things that are impossible to be implemented. Do not say such things that express your heart's frustration but create problems for the country, do not say such things that you do not have the ability to implement.
"Before you speak anything, consider the difficulties, priorities, and problems of your country and nation. Inciting and provocative things can be done by anyone. But to protect the long-term interests of the country, stabilizing the government, a troubled Afghanistan that has sacrificed more than two million people as a result of foreign intervention in forty years, millions of people have been forced to migrate, how can you heal their wounds, how can you fulfil the economy, education, health and other needs of your affected people? This is possible only when national differences are over and conflicts with the world can be avoided.
"We have repeatedly declared that the policy of the Islamic Emirate is that Afghanistan will no longer be an arena of competition between Great Powers. Yes, but if there is competition, it will be positive competition; it will be based on bilateral relations. It will be based on national interests and most importantly it will be in accordance with the golden principles of Islam. Our policy should be based on knowledge, strategy and research, then we can achieve the milestones of progress."
"Afghanistan's Big Difficulty Has Been That Once The Mindset Of Our Youth Was In Accordance With The Ideology Of Communism And The Country Was Destroyed And Then The Country Was Transformed Into Ruins By The Influence Of The Western Mentality"
"All the praises are due to Allah, all the praises are due to Allah, all the steps taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the last 15, 16 months [since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August-September 2021], it has not taken a single step on the basis of which it had to turn back. Your good policy is the result of good planning and academic research; this way a society is constructed, and the government is stabilized.
"No one can make the country developed in one day, no country can cure all the wounds in one day. It is necessary to provide a favorable environment for the development of the country. No government puts food in the mouths of all its people but provides a favorable environment for businessmen to do business. Students get education; farmers do farming; drivers run transport. It is our responsibility to provide a conducive environment for the people. The Strategic Research Center should try to shape the mindset of the people according to its environment.
"Afghanistan's big difficulty has been that once the mindset of our youth was in accordance with the ideology of communism and the country was destroyed and then the country was transformed into ruins by the influence of the Western mentality. Afghanistan will be shaped when the rulers and the people are on the same page under one ideology [of Islam].
"I want to emphasize that our youth should subordinate their emotions to policy. The prophet's Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) would sometimes seek permission from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to behead an opponent. But the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to forbid them and would not allow them. Islamic religious scholars write that the feelings of the Companions were subject to the policy of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Their emotions were valuable but they kept their emotions under control and followed the policy.
"Today, the Islamic system is established here, Allah has established peace, now the series of sacrifices and injuries of three or four hundred young people every day has ended, people live in a peaceful environment. No one should rub salt on the wounds of this nation, no longer try to play with the sentiments of this nation. No one should compromise on the interests of this nation. Now there is need to follow politics so that Afghanistan becomes the center of knowledge, stable economy and trade, and joins the ranks of the world as a developed country."
"The Present System [Under The Taliban] Has Been Born From The Womb Of The People, In Which The Youth Of Every Home, Village, Neighborhood, Mosque, Madrassa, And Schools Have Made Great Sacrifices..."
"Look at the history of Afghanistan. Which systems have succeeded, and which systems have failed – the systems based on other ideologies [such as communism] have failed and those systems have also failed, which were only subject to emotions and those systems also proved to be a failure which were based on the views of a single individual.
"Here only those systems have succeeded that have been born from the womb of the people and fulfill the needs, demands, and sacrifices of the people. The present system [under the Taliban] has been born from the womb of the people, in which the youth of every home, village, neighborhood, mosque, madrassa, and schools have made great sacrifices and thanks to their sacrifices, this system has been established.
"This system is established according to the aspirations of the people, but it is important to understand that people do not just love our faces, but they want practical work from us. They want us to meet their needs and solve their problems. Respected friends! Think what we think of our home and family. What measures do we take and how much effort do we put into education, health, and economy for a better future for our children?
Logo of the Afghan Taliban's Urdu website
"But today you are the ruler of the whole country, and these people are your children; if you all do not think for them, then you are becoming guilty of betrayal. If you think better for your family, want to stay away from conflicts with neighbors, if you treat the people of the neighborhood well and take care of all the needs of the family, then it is compulsory on you to take care of the entire nation and this big home, to try to solve their problems. If you did not consider the needs of this big home and nation and did not try to solve their problems, then you will be responsible for it and answerable before Allah on the Day Of Judgement.
"Therefore, I congratulate on the launch of the book by the Strategic Research Center today at this ceremony; it is a commendable initiative. We want to achieve more success in this way, if you study history, those who have gained knowledge have served more. All the personalities who have made headlines on the front of knowledge, training, and politics were adorned with the jewel of knowledge.
"I request you all that Allah has given us the best opportunity today, so take advantage of this opportunity; those colleagues who have worked harder will be rewarded. If I have any affection for all the people who work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is only because of the ideology, because of the concern on the basis of which we sit here today. Therefore, in the future, our relationship with you will be based on the same theory and thought. And whoever remains loyal to this concern, this land, this country, and the aspirations of this nation is our brother. May Allah grant us the opportunity to serve this country and nation..."