October 31, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2599

In Open Letter to Shanghai Summit, Taliban Urges Participants 'To Render Assistance in the Work of Liberating People and Countries of the Region from the Claws of the Colonialists – and To Take a Decisive Stand on the West's Invasion of Afghanistan'

October 31, 2009
Pakistan, Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 2599

In an open letter, dated October 14, 2009, to the ShanghaiSummit being held that day in Beijing, the Taliban in Afghanistan urge Central Asian government leaders to help the Afghan people rid themselves of the "claws of the colonialists."

The summit meeting was of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations; the SCO, a regional security alliance of Central Asia countries, comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Mongolia, India, and Pakistan have observer status.

The statement, issued in several languages including Urdu and English, by the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, promises that Afghanistan under the Taliban leadership will work for "good and positive relations with all neighbors based on mutual respect and [will] open a new chapter of good neighborliness of mutual cooperation and economic development."

Following is the text of the statement, titled "Open Letter of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to ShanghaiSummit': [1]

"America and NATO Member Countries Have Been Shedding the Blood of the Innocent Afghans for the Past Eight Years"

"Those with free conscience in the world know that America and NATO member countries have been shedding the blood of the innocent Afghans for the past eight years, under the pretext of terrorism. Tens of thousands of miserable Afghans, including women, children and old men, have become victims to this fatuous pretext. Still more, this spree of killing, persecution, and torture at the hand of the invaders has been continuing unabated.

"Our parents are not able to send their children to schools with peace of mind, fearing that they might be killed because the invaders have frequently shelled seminaries and schools under the excuse of being training centers of terrorists. Our common public [transportation] passengers fear that they may get stuck between military convoys of the invaders and lose [their] lives. Many a time, it has happened that the so-called international security forces have run over vehicles of common people; afterward, they claimed that the passengers had not paid attention to their signals. In [other] words, they consider passengers' not heeding their signals a justification for killing them.

"Our businessmen are grappling with various problems in their daily commercial activities, being unable to perform their normal business routine. They fear that their goods may be damaged by foreign troops while transporting them from one province to another. They also fear that some officials in uniform will loot their commodities."

"[Afghan] Civilians Cannot Sleep Without Tension - Because the Foreign Troops Usually Raid People's Houses and Kill Elders... Or Take Them to Guantanamo, Bagram, Kandahar, or Other Notorious Jails"

"A few days ago, foreign forces set fire to 2,000 shops in Gandum Raiz bazaar, Zamindawar area, Kajaki district, Helmand province, burning them to ashes. Other bazaars of the district are under similar threat.

"Our farmers are not able to work in fields in peace, because the enemy helicopters and fighter planes are hovering over them. Sometimes they take peasants' farm equipment to be weapons and the farmers to be armed militants busy erecting outposts, so they open fire on them.

"Civilians cannot sleep without tension, because the foreign troops usually raid people's houses and kill the elders of the households or take them to Guantanamo, Bagram, Kandahar, or other notorious jails.

"In fact, our nation is hostage in the hands of the foreign forces in Afghanistan. They have been terrorizing our people, ostensibly under the name of fighting terrorism."

"We Urge the Shanghai Summit Participants to Render Assistance in the Work of Liberating People and Countries of the Region From the Claws of the Colonialists - and To Take a Decisive Stand on the West's Invasion of Afghanistan"

"Despite the atrocities that they have unleashed, a great part of Afghanistan is still under the control of the Islamic Emirate. The problem is that the American and NATO forces are completely jittery, and are suffering from psychological diseases. They think every Afghan, child or a mature person, male or female, is going to attack them by blowing up him or herself. So they fear threat from every rock and every bush of Afghanistan, considering them to be their enemy, thinking that Taliban might have planted a landmine under it. They open fire in every direction.

"The invaders have turned our country into an inferno, where the oppressed Afghans are burning. Therefore, we urge the participants of the Shanghai Summit to render assistance in the work of liberating people and countries of the region from the claws of the colonialists, and to take a decisive stand on the West's invasion of Afghanistan."

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as a Liberation Movement, Wants to Play a Positive Role in the Peace and Stability of the Region - Besides its Current Mission of Liberating the Country"

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as a liberation movement, wants to play a positive role in the peace and stability of the region, besides its current mission of liberating the country.

"The esteemed Emir of the Islamic Emirate [Mullah Omar] has touched upon this matter in his recent message as follows:

"'The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to have good and positive relations with all neighbors based on mutual respect, and to open a new chapter of good neighborliness of mutual cooperation and economic development. We consider the whole region a common home against colonialism, and want to play our role in the peace and stability of the region.'

"We remind the participants of the Shanghai Forum to be aware of being swayed by the black propaganda launched against us by colonialism. We have no intention of harming our neighboring countries, but we want to gain the independence of our country, which is our natural right, and to establish an Islamic system as a panacea for all our economic and social problems - for which we have unremittingly been offering tremendous sacrifices.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as per its peaceful policy, wants constructive interaction with Shanghai forum member countries, for permanent stability and economic development in the region on the basis of mutual respect.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan"


[1], Afghanistan, accessed October 15, 2009; the text has been lightly edited for clarity.

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