Hamid Azizi, speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, stressed that if we consider the Taliban today as one with the Taliban 25 years ago, we will have a misunderstanding of the developments, adding: The Taliban were inexperienced at that time, and although they were welcomed by the society to end the highly corrupt feudal regimes, they were unable to properly implement the principles they envisioned and are rooted in the beliefs and culture of the Afghan people.
The former university professor in Afghanistan said that today’s Taliban is more capable than before, adding: The Taliban now have 30 years of experience working in critical situations in various internal and external dimensions. They made the world accept them as a reality. Before winning the battlefield, they won the rhyme in the diplomatic arena. Taliban diplomacy first pushed the United States and NATO out of the front, left the Afghan government alone, and then occupied all of Afghanistan without a war in a nine-day move.
According to Azizi, since the Taliban want to rule, they know that they must adhere to a set of principles and values to which the world and the people of Afghanistan are sensitive; adding: The Taliban hanged his enemies when they entered into Kabul 30 years ago, but today the Taliban pardoned their most stubborn enemies who had been allies with the occupiers for years. This indicates that they take every step in a calculated manner.
He stressed: If the Taliban want to play a show so that their steed can cross the bridge and then show their hard side; in that case, they will pay a very high price. In that case, as treacherous, traitor, and hypocrite, they will both lose their inner legitimacy among their followers and provide an excuse for the creation and strengthening of fronts against themselves.
Need to pay attention to the rights of minorities in Afghanistan
The analyst of Afghanistan affairs regarding the validity of claims of the Taliban towards the rights of minorities said: Paying attention to the rights of minorities, such as the Shiites and even the very small Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan, who have a very small population, has been a sensitive issue for all governments. The Taliban had been in talks with various countries for several years before capturing Kabul.
The former spokesman of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, added: If we consider the 1398 (2019-2020) presidential election, out of 33 million people in Afghanistan, only about 1 million and 900 thousands votes were cast, which showed a turnout of 5 percent, and Ashraf Ghani came to power by winning two and a half percent of the vote and he considered himself the representative of the Afghan people; while 97.5% of the Afghan people were not taken into account by anyone. If the people had been pro-republican in this way, the Taliban would not have taken over all of Afghanistan in nine days without resistance.
The former university professor in Afghanistan, referring to some reports about the Taliban’s violent actions in some provinces, said: Obviously, there are differences in line and staff. In all the wars of the world we see that the perception, feeling and performance of the military force is different from that of the political force; but the Taliban in recent days and years have shown a strange order in structure.
Need to create an inclusive and pluralistic government
Saying that hope should be placed in the Taliban’s efforts to create a pluralistic government, he said: By national participation, the Taliban certainly does not mean to give share to the corrupt who in the past under the name of their people rights; only made themselves rich and kept their people weak and blamed others for it. Basically, one of the reasons for the failure of the republic was that in the last 20 years, the symbolic participation of ethnic groups (Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, etc.) was represented by a few corrupt and selfish figures. When those people were in power, everything was great and whenever they lost power, they raised the slogan of the loss of their people’s rights and aroused the feelings of their people. We hope that this time national participation will be based on the distribution of power at the community level. Instead of distributing power over nobles and ethnicities, power should be distributed at the public level and directly to the entire nation in the form of transparent competitive processes.
The Taliban’s view on prohibition of totalitarianism in power
Azizi further spoke about the need to provide guarantees against lack of totalitarianism and distribution of power and said: There is no basis for elections in Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan do not have accurate and secure identity documents, so in the short term instead of holding symbolic elections, an aristocratic system may be adopted in which elites and scholars of society from different ethnic groups and strata of the country come together and decide the fate of the country.
Referring to the news about the Taliban preventing some women from attending universities and the media, Azizi said: I am concerned about preventing presence of some capable women, but they claim that the government has not been established yet and the administration is paralyzed and with regard to the conditions, something could happen at any moment with an aim of discrediting the Taliban, so we asked our sisters to stay at home temporarily until the situation is determined, and then all of them will have the right to attend and work in their jobs by observing the Islamic hijab.
Need for demarcation between the Taliban and the Takfiris
Regarding the difference between the views of the Taliban and the Takfiris, he said: The people of Afghanistan and the Taliban are Hanafi, but the so-called Takfiris have mostly Salafi or Wahhabi ideas. There has never been a religious war between Shiites and Sunnis in Afghanistan, but there have been bloody wars between Hanafis and Salafis. Even now, the ISIS, as a Takfiri movement, excommunicated the Taliban in the first place.
The analyst of Afghanistan affairs, commenting on the Taliban’s approach to holding a Shiite religious ceremony in Afghanistan, said: The definition of Shiite rituals and beliefs that has existed for centuries in Afghanistan is that they do not contradict Sunni beliefs and are both Muslim and religious. This has led to a close relationship and even many marriages between them; but in recent years, some issues such as the dispute over the right of the early caliphate of Islam and the issue of martyrdom of the daughter of the Prophet and insulting the sanctities of the Sunnis, have been raised as a threat and a tool of division between Sunnis and Shiites. In the current situation, it can be seen that the Taliban provide security for mourning circles.
Regarding some efforts to restrict the Persian language in Afghanistan, Azizi said: “here is practically no conflict with the Persian language in Afghanistan, and only some politicians and ethnic groups in order to gain points and put pressure on their rivals or to draw the attention of some countries stir the language issues. For 300 years the Pashtun rulers ruled Afghanistan and if there was a systematic conflict with the Persian language, Pashto should now be the language of all the people of Afghanistan, while the language of the rulers themselves became Persian and even many of their families were unable to speak Pashto.