Afghan Taliban Criticize EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell For Opposing Taliban Demand For Islamic Government In Afghanistan

December 4, 2020

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The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization), has criticized European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell for opposing the Taliban's demand for an Islamic system of government in the country.

At a multilateral conference on Afghanistan in Geneva on November 24, 2020, Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and a vice president of the European Commission, said: "A ceasefire should not be an outcome of the (peace) process. It should accompany the process from today... Any attempt to restore an Islamic emirate would have an impact on our political and financial engagement."[1]

The Doha peace process is currently deadlocked after the Islamic Emirate demanded "a pure Islamic government" for Afghanistan, while the elected democratic government led by President Ashraf Ghani too is in favor of an Islamic government but with guaranteed protection for human rights, women's equality, and rights of religious minorities such as Shi'ite Muslims.[2]

However, the Taliban have not accepted these demands by the Afghan government delegation in Doha, have refused to agree to a ceasefire against Afghan security forces, and have continued to mount terror attacks across Afghanistan on unprecedented levels, hoping to dislodge the elected Afghan government and seize power in Kabul.

After Borrell's comments at the Geneva conference, the Islamic Emirate issued a statement disparaging the EU official for opposing a religious government of the kind the Taliban want to be implemented in Afghanistan.

Following is the text of the statement:[3]

"We Wish To Remind This Obtuse [EU] Official To Update His Memory If He So Lacks Knowledge About The Current Afghan Reality"

"During an address to the conference convened in Geneva on Tuesday [November 25], the Chief of European Union Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, warned against the establishment of an Islamic Emirate [government] in Afghanistan, adding that the reestablishment of such a system would impact the scope and size of EU political interaction and economic aid.

"Such an announcement by this particular EU official indicates that perhaps he is either still caught up in the past or [is] misreading the situation to be similar to the past nineteen years – a period in which the foreigners had a carte blanche to impose alien ideas on Afghanistan and the Afghans through force, funds, and manipulation, and to enforce [the implementation of] an imported system by usurping their political self-determination.

"We wish to remind this obtuse official to update his memory if he so lacks knowledge about the current Afghan reality. He must understand that the two-decade war that has raged in this land is precisely because foreigners have continually recommended the wrong prescriptions for the Afghans, which the Afghans have resolutely rejected.

"All efforts aimed at forcing such prescriptions have failed to produce the desired outcomes; and therefore, the international community has arrived at a consensus – to respect the self-determination, values, and customs of the Afghans, and to allow them to form whatever type of government they see fit."

"Our People Are A Believing Nation Who Have An Unwavering Faith In Their Religion, Islam, And Have Presented Colossal Sacrifices For An Islamic Government"

"Moreover, it is an accepted international principle that all nations in all corners of the world have a lawful right to build a government of whatever form and under whatever title for their own country, an inherent right that must also be afforded to our people. Our people are a believing nation who have an unwavering faith in their religion, Islam, and have presented colossal sacrifices for an Islamic government.

"[The] Islamic Emirate is also a name that has deep Islamic roots and antecedent in Afghanistan, and most leaders of Afghanistan during the nineteenth century were also crowned 'Emirs.' Therefore, such assertions by EU officials amounts to interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, that has neither any logical nor any legal justification.

"Afghans expect from international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations that they focus their energies on finding solutions. Facilitating the path towards peace, humanitarian aid, and showing respect for Afghan self-determination are noble aims towards which they and all other sides have a moral obligation.

"As the Islamic Emirate has made commitments about preventing harm to other nations from Afghanistan, all world countries and organizations, including the European Union, must also show respect to the principle of reciprocity by not interfering in the internal affairs of our homeland. We do not understand from where this EU official bestows upon himself the authority to impart instructions to Afghans about determining the working underpinnings and titles of their country. Such paternalistic comments are not only irresponsible but are both counterproductive and unhelpful in finding a resolution."


[1] (India), November 24, 2020.

[3] (Afghanistan), November 25, 2020. The original English of the statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

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