July 05, 2020
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'The US And Its Allies Can't Remove Us'

Rahimullah Yusufzai talks to Mulla Abdul Kabir, governor of Nangarhar province, head of the three eastern Afghanistan provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar, and deputy prime minister of Afghanistan. Excerpts:

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'The US And Its Allies Can't Remove Us'
It was surprising to find the Taliban take foreign journalists to Jalalabad airport. What was your reason?
To show that bombings have caused more damage to civilians than our soldiers. You have seen that Jalalabad airport hasn't suffered the kind of damage claimed by the US. In fact, the military losses sustained by us are much less than what has been repeatedly claimed by the US and its allies.

How is the morale of the people?
It is very high in rural Afghanistan because there is less bombing there. In Jalalabad also, the morale is all right. Still, the bombings do create a scare and affect normal life. Some families shifted to the countryside from Jalalabad. I'd be wrong if I say that there is no concern and fear about the US aerial strikes.

The US and its allies say they want to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Gen Pervez Musharraf has also said that the Taliban's days are numbered. Any comment?
The Taliban didn't capture power with the help of all those who are predicting our fall. We came to power with the blessings of God almighty, Taliban sacrifices and the support of the Afghan nation. As long as we follow our religion and enjoy Allah's blessings and support, neither the US nor its allies can remove us from power and install another government in our place.

How do you look at the change in Pakistan's policy on Afghanistan?
This policy isn't going to serve Pakistan's interest. The Taliban set-up and our Islamic system of government is in Pakistan's best interest. Once the Taliban are gone, Pakistan is likely to be sandwiched between two enemy countries on its borders.

Would the situation change once American ground forces are sent to Afghanistan?
All Afghans are waiting for US soldiers to set foot on our homeland so that they could take part in a face-to-face combat.

Would you please explain the latest Taliban position with regard to Osama bin Laden?
The best method for the US to solve the bin Laden issue would be to stop bombing Afghanistan, resume negotiations with the Taliban and provide credible evidence against bin Laden regarding his involvement in acts of terrorism. It is possible that on the basis of this evidence we could consider putting bin Laden on trial in Afghanistan or hand him over to a neutral and true Islamic state for a fair trial.
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