On August 18, 2020, the 101st anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) published a statement and an article marking the day and reiterating its jihadi ideals.
In the accompanying statement, the Taliban wrote that the day marks "a proud historical day for our people and homeland as 101 years earlier on this exact date, the valiant and mujahid people of Afghanistan with the blessing of divine help from Allah won their independence from British occupation and forced the greatest colonial power of the 19th and 20th century to officially recognize the sovereignty of this land and its people."
Noting that "it also considers today's jihadi struggle on the verge success a proud historical moment for the Afghan mujahid nation," the Taliban stated: "Just as our forefathers gave a befitting response to every scheme of the invading enemy at appropriate time, we too shall continue our comprehensive struggle with all our might towards regaining our sovereignty and establishing an Islamic government in our homeland..."
The Taliban, which signed a deal with the U.S. in February 2020 paving the way for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, added: "As today we are once again on the threshold of gaining independence, we call upon all internal [i.e., Afghan] sides to give preference to the aspirations and real demands of this nation, support the call of freedom and sovereignty and rescue this suffering nation from further hardships."
During The 1840s, "The Banners Of Jihad Were Raised Throughout The Country Led By Ghazi Abdullah Khan Achakzai, Na'eb Aminullah Logari"
In a separate article, titled "Overview: Afghan Independence," the Afghan Taliban organization narrated the historical context of the events, explaining how divisions between Afghanistan's tribal chieftains allowed the British, acting in tandem with Sikh rulers, to occupy the country.
"During the invasion of [undivided] India by the British Empire, the English continually advanced from the south towards the northern and western parts during the 18th century. They brought down Muslim rule in Mysore and Deccan [now in India] and occupied these lands. At that time the Babur Sultanate [of the Mughals] was on its last legs as the British and Sikhs... were the dominant forces ruling most of the Indian Subcontinent, and both allied against the Muslims with their sights set on Afghanistan," the Taliban wrote.
The purpose of the article seems to be to present the entire anti-colonial struggle of the Afghans against the British as a jihadi movement. The article observes: "The British who had come with a large force and modern weapons established outposts in Kandahar, Ghazni and Jalalabad with the biggest base located in Kabul. The scholars of Afghanistan from the very beginning of the invasion issued a fatwa [Islamic decree] of jihad against the infidels and would travel from one town to another where they would call the people toward jihad and command them to stay away from all dealings with the English."
"As such the banners of jihad were raised throughout the country led by Ghazi Abdullah Khan Achakzai, Na'eb Aminullah Logari, Wazir Muhammad Akbar Khan, Mir Masjidi Khan, Ghazi Mehrab Khan Balouch and Muhammad Shah Khan Babukar Khel along with other mujahideen. They began assaults against the British invaders in Kabul and other areas," it states, referring to the 1840s.
During The 1880s, "The Believing Nation Once Again Raised The Banners Of Jihad Against The British Occupation And Armed Jihad Was Launched"
The article goes on to describe how, from the 1880s onward, the Afghans against waged jihad against the second British invasion. "Afghan scholars, warriors and the rest of the believing nation once again raised the banners of jihad against the British occupation and armed jihad was launched under the leadership Muhammad Jan Khan Wardak, Mullah Mushki Alam, Mir Bacha Khan Kohdamani, Mawlana Abdul Ghafoor Langari, Ghulam Haidar Khan Charkhi, Faiz Muhammad Sahibzada of Musahi and others," it notes.
"This jihad reached its apex when a group of Afghan soldiers in Kabul changed sides and attacked the British embassy, setting the building on fire and killing 123 workers including the envoy Cavagnari. The British decided to reinforce their troops in Afghanistan, but the revolt had evolved into a national uprising," it says. The article explains that from the First World War onward, "the Afghan scholars, warriors and freedom-seeking political leaders chose Amanullah Khan as the leader of Afghanistan on the condition that he declares jihad and reclaims complete sovereignty, thus a movement of jihad and independence was reborn."
"To stoke jihadi fervor among the masses, scholars were dispatched throughout the country with eastern provinces given to Tarangzo Haji Sahib Mawlana Fazl Wahid and Chakanur Mullah Sahib, south-east or greater Paktia region given to Shorbazaar Hazrat Sahiban Shams-ul-Mashaekh Fazl Muhammad Mujjaddidi and Noor-ul-Mashaekh Fazl Umar Muajjaddidi and the greater Kandahar region to Mutawalli of Khirqa Sharif Mawlawi Abdul Hameed Alokozai and Mawlawi Saleh Muhammad Akhundzada," it observes.
The article, whose author is not identified, notes that in May 1919, the British lost to Afghan fighters at Thal, which is now part of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with Afghanistan becoming free from the British, while the rest of the Indian Subcontinent, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, had to wait until 1947 for independence. "The fall of Thal spread fear within the English and forced their hand to beg for a ceasefire in exchange for accepting the demands of the Afghan government, resulting in the 40-year indirect occupation of the British Empire coming to an end due to the blessings of armed jihad with Afghan independence officially recognized on the 28th of Assad 1298 Hijri Solar [corresponding to August 18]," it adds.
"America And NATO Decided To Invade Afghanistan By Bringing Down The Islamic Government, Usurping Its Sovereignty"
The article further notes that from 1919 onwards Afghanistan remained independent, but was occupied by the Soviet military in the 1980s, saying "our valiant nation waged a 14-year jihad against the Soviets and their puppet [Afghan] communists and once again regained ownership of their land by presenting one and a half million martyrs."
"A few years later in the year 2001, America and NATO decided to invade Afghanistan by bringing down the Islamic government, usurping its sovereignty and taking control over its land and air space. The stooges of this era like Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani and others played the role of [past Afghan rulers] Shah Shuja and Babrak Karmal by siding with the invaders," it notes.
"[B]ut the heroic sons of this land – the Taliban, noble scholars and common mujahideen – followed the footsteps of their forefathers by raising the banners of jihad, sacrificing their souls in the path of Allah and continuing their legitimate struggle even after 18 years. And Allah willing, the time is not far when the pride of America like that of the British colonialists shall be shattered and they too shall beg for cessation of hostilities," it says.
The statement adds: "To end we congratulate our valiant nation on the 101st anniversary of independence from the British occupiers and give them glad tidings about the day when gaining independence from the American occupation shall also be celebrated and true freedom attained, Allah willing."
Source: AlemarahEnglish.net (Afghanistan), August 18, 2020. The original English of the quoted text has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.