March 3, 2021 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 261

Afghan Taliban's Operational Chief Sirajuddin Haqqani Warns The Biden Administration Against Scrapping The Doha Agreement: 'We Have The Technology To Use Drones, We Have Our Own Missiles; This Time If The Mujahideen Resume Fighting, It Would Be Something [The Americans] Have Never Seen Before'

March 3, 2021 | By Yigal Carmon and Tufail Ahmad*
MEMRI Daily Brief No. 261

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

Since U.S. President Joe Biden replaced former president Donald Trump, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) has been worried that the Doha agreement, which it signed with the U.S. and which is considered an achievement of the former president, might be ignored, diluted, and even formally abrogated. This worry is reflected in a speech that Haqqani Network chief Sirajuddin Haqqani gave at a major gathering of jihadi commanders somewhere in Afghanistan in February 2021.[1]

The Haqqani Network is a powerful unit within the Islamic Emirate. It is responsible for the Taliban's military planning and operations in Afghanistan. Founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, the late father of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Haqqani Network was described in September 2011 by Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as "a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence" for sponsoring terror attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and other Western targets in Afghanistan.[2]

In November 2020, a pro-Taliban Urdu daily in Pakistan reported that the Haqqani Network, working as part of the Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was planning to "forcibly occupy Afghanistan, including Kabul."[3] Sirajuddin Haqqani, in addition to heading the Haqqani Network, is also the deputy emir of the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban organization that signed the Doha agreement with the U.S. on February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar.

The Doha agreement was brokered with the aid of the Qatari government, Pakistan, and other like-minded parties – despite the Afghan Taliban leaders continuing to be in active relationship with Al-Qaeda, as noted in a UN report, during the 18 months of negotiations in Doha as well as right through the day the pact was signed.[4] Even Qatar's role in supporting jihadi groups is well known, especially its proactive role in shielding Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, who was described in The 9/11 Commission Report as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks."[5]

The Doha agreement was celebrated as a major military victory by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, as the deal aims to facilitate the withdrawal of American forces and paves the way for the Taliban to gain power in Kabul. In fact, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Emir-ul-Momineen ("the Leader of the Faithful") who heads the Islamic Emirate, celebrated the "American defeat" by sacrificing sheep.[6] The deal, giving wide-ranging concessions to the Taliban, was opposed by the democratically elected government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who was badgered and totally excluded from the negotiations in Doha by the team of then U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Zalmay Khalilzad, who remains the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.[7]

In his speech, commander Sirajuddin Haqqani talks about organizational issues within the Islamic Emirate such as disobedience by some Taliban commanders, refusal by some of them to be transferred to other provinces, and the arrogant exercise of power by the Taliban militants over civilians in Afghanistan. However, the speech is a clear warning to the Biden administration against scrapping the Doha deal. What is startling is that Sirajuddin Haqqani goes on to warn the administration that if the deal is scrapped, the Taliban will have missiles and drones to use – a new phenomenon in the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Kashmir region.

Sirajuddin Haqqani says: "The pride and honor of our mujahideen cannot tolerate continued violations of the agreement by the other side. Since the U.S. administration has changed, NATO & U.S. are bluffing. Don't be affected by these bluffs. 15 years ago, we fought them with faith & with weaker military strength. Today we have both. We have the technology to use drones, we have our own missiles. This time if the mujahideen resume fighting, it would be something they have never seen before. They will wish the battlefield was like in the past."[8]

The full text of Sirajuddin Haqqani's speech is given below as an appendix, but his warning about drones and missiles that might be used in the near future seems to be real within the larger regional context which is now being redefined by a trilateral military alliance of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. This trilateral military alliance ensured Azerbaijan's military victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh War of 2020 with effective use of Turkish-made drones, and there are also reports of drones coming from Pakistan into the Kashmir region being shot down by Indian military.[9] It is within this larger regional context – of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and (when the Taliban take over) Afghanistan joining hands as part of the emerging Turkey-led Islamic military alliance – that Sirajuddin Haqqani is emboldened to warn the U.S. of the possibility of using drones and missiles in Afghanistan.


Invaluable Speech by the Deputy Leader of the Islamic Emirate, Khalifa Sahib Sirajuddin Haqqani (HA), at a Great Assembly of Mujahideen

"I Congratulate You On Your Jihadi Victories And Successes In The Path Of Freedom Of Our Country"

"Dear respected Mujahideen brothers,

"Honorable Mashaikh [Islamic mystics] and esteemed scholars,

"Assalam-u-Alaikum [Peace be upon you]

"May Allah Almighty accept all your sacrifices, difficulties and hardships.

"I congratulate you on your jihadi victories and successes in the path of freedom of our country. Yes! In this way, many of our dear friends have been martyred, I wish all of them a high place in paradise from Allah the almighty, and patience and blessings for their families. Believe me! Whenever I speak in front of scholars and elders, I find myself weak.

"However, due to the need of the hour and our related work, I consider it a great pleasure for myself to meet you. Believe me, I had this wish since a long time that the almighty grant me a chance to participate in gatherings with my colleagues, so that I may share with them both joys and sorrows.

"Praise be to Allah, this meeting today (although not in the most assuring circumstances), is because of the sacrifices of friends which has provided an atmosphere and opportunity in which we and you can meet and sit together with confidence, which itself is a great achievement.

"Brothers! The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is proud of how diligently you are carrying out the responsibilities that we and you are responsible for, and may Allah bless you with the acceptance of all your sacrifices and efforts. We are satisfied with your performance; may Allah be pleased with you."

"Today The Entire World Recognizes The Political, Jihadi And Cultural Unity, Relentless Sacrifices And Iron-Clad Perseverance Of The Islamic Emirate"

"Dear brothers! You are well aware that the responsibilities of jihadi affairs are very delicate and sensitive. The damage is visible. If a person commits disobedience, laziness, and unlawful acts against it, then he will be disgraced by Allah almighty after a while, may Allah protect all of us from such situations.

"I believe that you will be aware that today the entire world recognizes the political, jihadi and cultural unity, relentless sacrifices and iron-clad perseverance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Friends and foes alike acknowledge it; so, we must not lose our unity and courage. Look! Do not let the fear of Allah, both overt and covert, leave your heart and follow and obey Allah and his messenger [Muhammad], peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and all his commands, because with the passage of time as the workload and service lengthens, man naturally develops a tendency towards materialism. Beware! If you show such inclination, success will turn into failure and degradation.

"Praise be to Allah. Now you are at the forefront of conquests, rewards, and progress. Twenty years ago today, when the jihad began, we were faced with extreme poverty, hardships and difficulties. No mujahid ever thought that one day we would face such an improved state. Or that we will crush the arrogance of the rebellious emperors of the world and force them to admit their defeat at our hands. Fortunately, today we and you are experiencing better circumstances. It is the result of your sacrifices and the gratitude of those, and no one gave it as a grant to us.

"Friends! As you know, the beginning of the ongoing jihad was done with sincerity and pure intentions because at that time there were no material incentives, responsibilities, or positions of power. There was no province, there was no district, there was no faction, there was no position, no state, and no management. Everyone considered jihad a divine responsibility regardless of what would happen next, success or failure. There was only a wave of passion that we would do our Islamic duty (jihad) before considering anything else."

"Jihad Is A Great Act Of Worship, Which Is Obligatory On Both Men And Women; Brothers! We Will Take Part In Jihad With The Intention Of Worship"

"On the other hand, friends and foes alike were saying that you are facing mountains and fires; it is impossible, don't get yourselves tired and don't waste your lives unnecessarily. There is no power in the world who will support you and do not think that you will win again because such is not possible.

"But Allah's promise of victory to Muslims is predestined; our faith is firm in the word of Allah and in the guidance of the Holy Prophet [Muhammad]; and it was and is our belief whether we are present or not. In both cases, we are satisfied with Allah's judgments and decisions, and we will strive for the supremacy of Allah's religion, although we will not show our weakness.

"So, it is important that we not forget the situation or time in which the aim was not for position, for material gains or fame, but all deeds were done due to sympathy for the oppressed and suffering Muslims and Afghans. Therefore, at that time no one even imagined ideological differences and issues. Of course, after the expansion of responsibilities and positions, some issues naturally came to forefront. These issues arose because I think there was a difference in intentions.

"So, we need to read and revisit the belief, the jihad, and the passion that we had at the beginning of the jihad [post-9/11], never attribute the jihadi service to responsibility, never consider it to be materialistic, but I observe it sometimes. They are good, strong, and sincere mujahideen, but they do not consider themselves obligated until they are given responsibility. However, jihad is a great act of worship, which is obligatory on both men and women.

Brothers! We will take part in jihad with the intention of worship, and we must keep in mind that we will be held by Allah almighty accountable for our jihadi tools and equipment."

"I Have To Say That Sometimes I Feel That The Spirit Of Coordination And Mutual Understanding Between Our Commissions [i.e. Departments] Is Fading"

"As time went on and our structures expanded, more commissions were formed, institutions were created. Initially there were several commissions, all the work would be concentrated in them, later when more commissions were formed according to needs, naturally, regulations and procedures were made for each and every commission, all of which were passed and evaluated by the sheikhs [Islamic elders] and scholars. And after consensus was reached, it was handed over to the concerned department for implementation.

"But unfortunately, I have to say that sometimes I feel that the spirit of coordination and mutual understanding between our commissions [i.e. departments of the Islamic Emirate] is fading; or in other words, sometimes one commission considers itself against another commission as one state against another, or as one party is at a distance from the other. All our commissions should work together in coordination, unity, and cooperation, and lend a helping hand to each other.

"Every responsible person should consider it his responsibility to coordinate between the commissions because all commissions have one house, one entity, one honor and one dignity. Allah almighty forbid, if a defect is found in a branch, it will hurt our honor and dignity, and our status it will be like betrayal. If we see harm anywhere, instead of promoting it, airing it, spreading it, confusing people's minds and turning it into a point of discord, we need to research and find answers.

"If you do not agree with and understand... something, we shall send it to the responsible authority to find out if it is compliant with shari'a. If yes, it will convince you and if not, we will thank you and will correct the mistake for future – 'Instead of propagating against each other and conspiring.' We must keep all the departments of the [Islamic] Emirate united and support them in every possible way as we consider ourselves servants in the service of the colleagues of each department. The service rendered to us must be performed in accordance with the procedural rules in such a way that not a single collision occurs, and we are supported."

"[If We] Only Aim For The Pleasure Of Allah And To Raise The Word Of Allah, Then Allah Will Be Pleased With Us And We Will Be On The Path Of Jihad"

"Another point of obedience:

"Do not consider yourself unaware of things apart from affairs of your own group, faction, district, province, constituency, military commission, and beyond. Officials should try to get the regulations of other commissions, study them carefully, and familiarize themselves with them so that they do not clash with other departments.

"Whenever a problem arose and we investigated, the fault was in violation of the rules. If we follow the rules and regulations of all institutions, there will be no problems or conflicts. Certainly, with the passage of time, there will be changes in a person during jihad, from a nobody to a man, from an anonymous figure to a famous individual, from an unarmed peasant to a chief, from a poor man to a rich man, from a person without position a person of power.

"If we avoid self-gratification and indulgence and only aim for the pleasure of Allah and to raise the word of Allah, then Allah will be pleased with us and we will be on the path of jihad. But if we go the other way, the end will be like some of the former jihadi leaders who are now standing by the side of the disbelievers, destroying both this world and the hereafter.

"Dear brothers, be extremely careful, for the greater the benefits of jihad, the greater the promises and dangers associated with it"

"The Holy Prophet Who Ordered His Companions In The Battle Of Uhud To Hold Their Position On Mount Al-Rama, And To Not Leave Whether Victory Or Failure"

"Brothers! There are many great men, but they do not accept responsibilities and do not hope for positions because they are afraid that they will commit a mistake and Allah will punish them, putting their end in jeopardy. May Allah grant us, and all of you, steadfastness, and perseverance in following shari'a.

"The source of success and defeat has been made known to us by the Holy Prophet who ordered his companions in the battle of Uhud to hold their position on Mount Al-Rama, and to not leave whether victory or failure. However, some of the companions of the Prophet... disobeyed these instructions which caused great hardship and pain to all Muslims, especially the army of the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad]...

"This was the case in the superior times of past, but in this age of ours, when we look at our actions, we will see how many violations are being committed. Then, on the basis of these violations, the entire army and system of jihad experiences harm.

"Yes! Martyrdom is a great blessing and honor. We all ask for martyrdom, but we must also pay attention to our deeds. In mujahideen, when differences of opinion increase, their sincerity will decrease and their malice will increase, resulting in an increase of inefficacious martyrdoms that boost the morale of the enemy and negatively impact that of the mujahideen.

"Yes! The only reason for this misfortune is pessimism, discord, and verbal disputes. Allah the Exalted says [Arabic words] ... You should try – even if the leader of the group, the district governor, the head of the governor's commission is not palatable to your nature – to obey Allah and his Messenger [Muhammad] for the sake of elevating the religion of Allah. Each one of you should think that I am doing this service in obedience to this leader for the sake of Allah and his Messenger, regardless if the status of the leader increases with it, even if not liked by us. Everyone shall think that I will not diminish my sincerity but will give strength and honor to the divine religion and the Islamic Emirate."

"The Americans Themselves Declared That Not A Single American Has Been Killed In A Year, Which Means That They Are Surprised That The Taliban Are So Obedient"

"The Islamic Emirate is the home of our faith and our religion, in which we are all united in a sacred bond. The mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate do not have salaries, wages, and privileges as opposed to world governments that operate in a way where everyone seeks privileges and rewards in return for every service. But we will consider this as a hadith of blessing, like the prophets ... who were sent as messengers and when they began preaching among their people, they would exclaim that they do not seek any reward from them, rather it is Allah that rewards them.

"It show[s] my salutation to the faith and honor of all our mujahideen who have spent five-six months in military service and that they did not tell us that there is a problem and need in my house, therefore I cannot do this service. Even though I am aware that you have driven rickshaws in the bazaar for domestic necessities, you have done manual labor, but you have not reached out to others and you have not refused to do jihad, may Allah bless you and bestow upon you happiness and success in this world and in the hereafter.

"Satisfied with your sincerity, I would also like to urge you to be sincerer and cooperate with your elders in matters of shari'a. This sincerity and selflessness is the secret of your success.

"As you know, the Americans themselves declared that not a single American has been killed in a year, which means that they are surprised that the Taliban are so obedient to their leaders that when ordered, they implemented in unison under one command and under one leadership, from [provinces] Badakhshan to Kunduz, Kandahar, Paktia, Nangarhar and everywhere.

"Always try to lend a helping hand to each other and keep yourself away from each other's frustrations. Many of our colleagues are upset with others when they are alive, but when they are martyred, all begin praising and shedding tears. Respect each other in life, be patient with each other, and be merciful with each other. The elders should have compassion upon those younger, and the younger should respect their elders. Whoever respects the other, Allah willing, our ranks will become stronger."

"We Have Defeated The Enemy With The Help Of Allah Not With Physical Tools, But Broken The Enemies With Our Unity And Harmony"

"We have defeated the enemy with the help of Allah not with physical tools, but broken the enemies with our unity and harmony. The blessing of this alliance is that the enemy has now failed and knows that they have employed all kinds of machinations against the mujahideen, yet they have not defeated their determination, their intentions, and they have not backed down from their thinking and position. Now the only tactic they continually use again and again is how to create rifts between them, and how to create discord [among mujahideen].

"They are trying to do so because they have thwarted countless Islamic movements with this tactic and that is through creating discord and disunity in their ranks. If you look and see... a person doing wrong, and although you are not responsible for it, you should thorough-investigate the matter, and then tell them privately that such actions are bad for yourself and for the entire system. There are losses and they shall focus on self-improvement. And if you are aware that they are insisting upon it on purpose, then you are obliged to take the complaint to a person of authority. Always try to be ones who enjoin good and forbid evil among themselves because those who genuinely possesses this attribute, no one can sow hypocrisy and division among them.

"The rights of the oppressed and the weak:

"There are many widows and orphans among you, and all of you are aware of the situation. When I meet you, it is mostly either the second or third leader of the group, or first or second brother has been martyred, his second or third brother has joined the jihad, or other family members.

"But look! No house and group is free from martyrs; we have thousands of martyrs in every province, so look after their widows and orphans. Allah's help depends on the cries and pleas of the weak, so try not to lose their rights because Allah almighty helps those who are oppressed, the widows, orphans, the disabled, prisoners, and refugees. If we take care of them and consider ourselves below them, then Allah will help us all circumstances.

"The Islamic Emirate has established a very small order for this purpose, but it is necessary to constantly inquire about such people and cooperate with them, and this should be done by the leader of the group, the head of the group and the family. Do not leave their pleas for someone else. So far, every petition that has come to us by families of martyrs, and all praise belong to Allah, we have not sent them empty handed. But you must pay more attention to it because if someone has seen it for himself, then they will look at this in the same as their own."

"Prophet [Muhammad]... Came Into A Dream Of Someone And He Saw That His Blessed Clothes Were Completely Stained With Blood; Someone Asked Him: What Is This Blood? The Prophet ... Replied: This Is The Blood Of The Martyrs Of Afghanistan"

"In our own home, there are orphans. When we enter the house, we cannot open our arms to our sons. The orphans are there; and we feel ashamed of it. No matter how well we take care of them, we see signs of sadness on their faces and because of them, we have seemingly also orphaned our children, so that there will be no grief in their hearts. And may Allah not count it in hypocrisy, we have provided them with every convenience of life, but rest assured that I have not seen any joy in their faces even in the occasion of Eid.

"And every one of you will be left with an orphan, but because the fathers of these orphans have made great sacrifices and shed so much pure blood, we need to respect and honor them. The Prophet [Muhammad]... came into a dream of someone and he saw that his blessed clothes were completely stained with blood. Someone asked him: What is this blood? The Prophet ... replied: This is the blood of the martyrs of Afghanistan. This is very honorable and precious blood that shall not fall to the ground.

"I am saying that we have defeated an arrogant power at the cost and blessing of the blood of these martyrs. We are walking with our heads high because of the sacrifices of the blood of these martyrs. Thanks to the blood of these martyrs, we have wealth and opportunities. So, you have to tread carefully and take great care of these oppressed people! Even though begging is in not allowed, I will do it, but I will stand firm with you in it, Allah willing, and not upset the families of the martyrs, the widows, the orphans, and the disabled brothers.

"I often receive information about the situation of widows. The condition in which some of the widows are living is very bad. With due respect as they are the widows of our Mujahideen, I want to say that some of them have been treated badly by their relatives. We have heard that the widow of the martyr has been kicked out of the house by the brother of the martyr and she is forced to beg in the bazaar, and they also send messages to us that the situation is bad, but they still pray for us in their messages, that May Allah Almighty protect our leadership despite the hardships we face. Not one or two, dozens of widows have reported this situation and you are responsible, my friends and you shall be concerned.

"Attention! My friends

"Widows are such a part of our nation whose prayers bring Allah’s help, but with its sighs of sorrow, we all will be harmed."

"The Fruits Of Jihad Also Depend On Our Political Office [In Doha, Qatar] As Well And We Look Forward To It"

"About the current political situation:

"Most of the comrades have concerns about the political situation. I would like to clarify a little bit about it, even if it is not related to this assembly, but because the fruits of jihad also depend on our Political Office [in Doha, Qatar] as well and we look forward to it. Praise be to Allah, as you have given a steady and positive momentum in the military arena and have succeeded in your goals, now the burden and pressure on our shoulders is all on the Political Office. Our colleagues are working hard, so do not fall into misunderstandings, do not be influenced by the biased propaganda of the enemy.

"Brothers! During the signing of the agreement [between the U.S. and the Taliban on February 29, 2020 in Doha], the esteemed Sheikh Emir-ul-Momineen was very careful. I swear by Allah, I have never him so busy in military affairs as in political affairs. In a simple detail, which is superficial, he refers it to the Leadership Council; and after the Leadership Council, he refers it to the sheikhs; and after complete satisfaction, he sends it the [Political] Office in Qatar. Praise be to Allah, the agreement went well, and in the first phase, 5,000 prisoners were released [by the Afghan government].

"It was written that they would withdraw and end the occupation completely. Praise be to Allah, in all resolutions, the Islamic Emirate successfully reached its goal in the first round. Now the question arises as to what mistakes are being made by the Americans, NATO allies who are violating the agreement, for example with a raid in one place, bombing in another place. This is not acceptable for the pride of our mujahideen. But the esteemed Sheikh Emir-ul-Momineen (may Allah protect him) says: 'We have adhered to shari'a, we have the sacred religion of Islam. In the history of Islam, the Muslims have not broken a treaty, rather it has been the infidels who have violated it. Even if we are going to abrogate the treaty, it will not be based on treachery and deceit.'

"Our leader instructs mujahideen not commit any violations. If the agreement is going to be abrogated, we will clearly inform the international community regarding any development. However, despite these violations by the other side, our honorable Sheikh [Emir-ul-Momineen] instructs and commands all officials and commanders to take full care of the agreement. If we deceitfully conquer ten provinces, it is not a victory for us which displeases Allah and tarnishes the glorious history of Islam and Muslims."

"If We Have Waged Jihad, We Have Continued It According To Shari'a, And If We Have Continued The Talks, We Have Continued It According To Shari'a"

"We have never broken any agreement in history, but the enemy has always committed treachery. Despite violations, our agreement will not be based on deception. The pride and honor of our mujahideen cannot tolerate continued violations of the agreement by the other side. Since the U.S. administration has changed, NATO & U.S. are bluffing. Don't be affected by these bluffs. 15 [?] years ago, we fought them with faith & with weaker military strength. Today we have both. We have the technology to use drones, we have our own missiles. This time if the mujahideen resume fighting, it would be something they [the Americans] have never seen before. They will wish the battlefield was like in the past.

"I was guiding the mujahideen so that the agreement is not violated by us. The mujahideen were hit by eight drones that day. They had prepared to retaliate, but I told them to be patient. "In the Hudaibiyyah Treaty that the Prophet... [Muhammad] signed, the companions drew their swords, but they were patient. Then it was the blessing of the peace agreement that the disbelievers were compelled to send a message to the Messenger of Allah ... [Muhammad] to call back his companions: Abu Jandal and Abu Baseer (may Allah be pleased with them). Allah willing, another empire of the world will be defeated thanks to your sacrifices, and we will be witness [to] that day when it happens. Keeping the treaty is not our degradation and weakness, but we record it in the history of compliance with the shari'a.

"If we have waged jihad, we have continued it according to shari'a, and if we have continued the talks, we have continued it according to shari'a. We have submitted ourselves to shari'a, and not to our inner desires. You see how many [jihadi] movements were there? But they aren't there today, why? Because they didn't follow shari'a. If we hold fast to faith and shari'a, I assure you of success in this world and the hereafter."

"The Only Reason That Allah Almighty Has Given Such A High Position To The Islamic Emirate Is Because The Scholars Of Truth Are At The Forefront Of It"

"Mujahideen brothers! I do not even consider myself equal to the dust of your feet. I, who has gone out with the mujahideen, felt that I can't carry a single bag with me. Sometimes my shawl would be wrapped around me and it would be a burden for me. I was surprised and would say to myself: Subhan Allah, how can the mujahideen walk for 12 hours. They carry rockets, bullets and be with them, they go hungry and thirsty, they fight and fight in such situations, they take martyrs and take the wounded with them.

"When our brother Nasiruddin [Haqqani] was martyred, and especially after the demise of the late Mullah Sahib [father Jalaluddin Haqqani], I used to sit in meetings a lot. There I saw the position of the Sheikh [Emir-ul-Momineen] and of the Leadership Council, who were so steadfast and firm on shari'a, my belief became so strong that even if everyone else changed their position, personalities in the Leadership Council will not sell Islam and the homeland.

"The late Mullah Sahib [Jalaluddin Haqqani] did not leave us a legacy on which someone can put us to shame and give us bad name. The only reason that Allah almighty has given such a high position to the Islamic Emirate is because the scholars of truth are at the forefront of it. Today you are sitting in the form of disciples to these sheikhs; this is your success and perfection. As long as we value scholars and leaders in our hearts, Allah will keep you successful. These sheikhs gave you precious time, and you gave your precious time to them, may Allah reward you all. Do not limit yourself to these lessons, but apply them to yourself.

"This year, twice I visited different provinces of the country and I noticed two things. One was that our nation has given unspeakable sacrifices with us, yet this nation is in fear of us [due to the Taliban's misdeeds]. Because the propaganda of the world that the Taliban kill people, spread extremism and terror, the people also keep this in mind and then not a single good word can be given to you for good and wellbeing because of the suspicion on their mind.

"Treat this nation in a way that exalts itself! This nation has gone through unprecedented pain and suffering with us, and is continues enduring it! So, take this step and humble yourselves in front of this afflicted nation. Don't drive your car in way that frightens the people or hurts this nation, don't do things that make you look unaccountable. Make a solemn promise not to hurt the people!"

"Consider This That Even In Times Of War, The Shari'a Has Shown Us The Method Of Congregational Prayers In The Form Of Prayer Of Fear"

"If... there are land disputes and other legal issues, the Islamic Emirate has set up its own organs for everything. There are courts; there is a military commission; there is invitation [preaching department]; there is intelligence; there are civilian casualties; and there are complaints [department]... But keep and respect the people's opinion on every issue.

"One evening, I saw mujahideen vehicles speeding so fast that people would avoid them. There is a place for strength. Allah says: ... [Arabic words]. Pride shall be directed towards the [American] invaders; do not practice arrogance over these Muslims, the poor and the needy. Although the situation is not normal and we are facing extraordinary challenges, do not make the people feel that the Taliban are oppressing them. Encourage, respect, and protect the people everywhere.

"The second thing I noticed: you have become weak in your routines and worships. Your five daily prayers are not in congregation. The prayer timings are known. For the importance of prayers in congregation, consider this that even in times of war, the shari'a has shown us the method of congregational prayers in the form of prayer of fear. We have been told by the people that the mujahideen sleep in the mosques at night, and are not getting up for morning prayers, and they shout at us and get angry when we ask them to pray.

"With this, you should follow the recitation of the holy Koran after prayers, and do not forget its importance. The Prophet ... [Muhammad] continued to pray until dawn, despite the news of victory came for him. If our spiritual connection with Allah is broken and the importance of remembrance, prayer, and recitation is not a matter of concern, then dear brothers, where shall victory come from? Whoever prays to Allah, remembers, worships, and does good deeds, the angels also know the voice in the heavens. But whoever does not recite the prayers and worships, the angels do not know the voice of who it is.

"So, keep in touch with Allah almighty, seek his pleasure, make your morals, nature, soul, yourself the character in adherence to shari'a. Don't think that I am the leader of the group, the district governor, the governor, the head of the commission ... Don't be misguided by having responsibility."

"We Are Aware Of The Weaknesses And Mistakes Of Many Colleagues, But We Still Do Not Decide To Dismiss Them Because We Respect Your Personality And Status"

"In the time of the prophets and companions, when they were relieved of their responsibilities, they would give thanks to Allah and would ask Allah that: I don't want to be rewarded for this service and responsibility, rather don't hold me accountable. Nowadays, when we are relieved of our responsibilities, we start imploring for the responsibilities on our own, we are directly and indirectly proposing one way or another that so-and-so deserves, and so-and-so deserves. Yes! I will respect you; I will give you responsibility and position, but will it be in the true sense of the word. Will it be fully fulfilling of your responsibility? We don't want anything else; we have given you a guideline, just follow that.

"No matter how many officials have changed, in my time it has not come into my notice that someone has been removed because of treachery, but we have removed them for incompetence and carelessness. And If we find that a person does not abide by the procedural rules, we compare it with another, and say that he is not fit for the job because he doesn't have the tolerance to implement the principles of the Islamic Emirate.

"If your leaders are not to your liking, do not like or dislike them because of your favoritism and choice, but consider shari'a and the fact that this system will be harmed If I object. Just say to yourself, that I will keep my mouth shut, I will continue this service with courage and sincerity. I will give and I will obey. So, if you obey, others will do the same. In this regard, Allah will bless you.

"I would like to make a note: we are aware of the weaknesses and mistakes of many colleagues, but we still do not decide to dismiss them because we respect your personality and status, we know that you have sacrificed in jihad. Along the way you have endured fatigue and are exposed to the enemy, but you must also correct yourself. We have set up a Dawah Guidance Commission for reforms, so do not expel people from jihad and do not rebuke them so much that Muslims become suspicious of them. Give them an opportunity to wage jihad and provide service, create an atmosphere of love and brotherhood with it. Look! If you do not take these people among yourself, the door of enemy is always open for them."

"The Days And Nights Of Jihad Are Limited, Then We Will Hope And Wish That We Can Find The Sweetness And Pleasure Of This Worship"

"We are a handful of mujahideen, when someone gets upset with a mujahid, they do not let him go until they deviate him from this path. Try to correct whatever it is, do not cut someone off, but show compassion and mercy. Why do we call people to Islam and then expel them from jihad? Look! The days and nights of jihad are limited, then we will hope and wish that we can find the sweetness and pleasure of this worship.

"Now, for example, in Nangarhar, we need mujahideen formations to come to us from Wardak, Ghazni, other provinces, so when we say to the mujahideen that they are needed there then sometimes they say: We have passed our turn, it is winter, we will go in the spring. So, what if it is winter or if it is spring – isn't the duty obligatory, because you have pledged that we will obey in both hardships and ease. You knew that people would come to you for help from anywhere, you try, when you are finished from your job here, don't spend extra time, go to them, help them, Allah will reward you.

"You know the story of the time of the [prophet's] companions. You know the story of the Battle of Tabuk in the books of hadith [traditions of Muhammad]. The three companions who failed to go to jihad and how much they suffered and how much trials and tribulations were faced by them. One of the companions said, 'I will offer the Friday prayer in congregation after the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad], may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and then I will join him.' The Messenger of Allah... said to him: Why did you stay? He replied: 'I had these virtues in mind.' The Prophet... said:... [Arabic words] A day in the path of Allah is better than the world and all that it contains.

"Nowadays we have forgotten this concept of jihad! So, we should go to the aid of our comrades wherever they are in need, whether in Kunduz or in Badakhshan. Now the enemy is trying to divide the mujahideen on basis of ethnicity, region, and language. But to prevent this, we will go to the aid of our brethren everywhere. Brothers! Man is very neglectful, and maybe we have violated each other's rights, so forgive me, and we forgive you. And may Allah be pleased with you. The Commander of the Faithful [i.e. the Sheikh Emir-ul-Momineen] is very kind to you and prays for you. May Allah bring better times in the future.

"I entrust the rest to Allah, may Allah bless you with happiness in this world and in the hereafter...

"5th Rajab ul Murajab 1442 Hijri [February 17, 2021]."

* Yigal Carmon is President of MEMRI; Tufail Ahmad is Senior Fellow at MEMRI


[1] (Afghanistan), March 2, 2021. The original English of the speech has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

[2] (U.S.), September 22, 2011.

[8] (Afghanistan), March 2, 2021.

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