Security

As 'puppets of Russia', Taliban betray sacrifices of Afghans against Soviets

By Najibullah

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This photo taken on February 7, 2019, shows Afghan police gathering near the remains of Soviet-era tanks in Panjshir Province, north of Kabul. The Taliban's dependence on Russian support betrays the memory of those who died fighting against the Soviets, say observers. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

KABUL -- The Taliban's close ties with the Russian regime are an insult to the sacrifices made by Afghans who fought to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and reflects the group's desperation, analysts and observers say.

Russian support has been crucial to the militant group's survival, while the Taliban has helped prop up Moscow's interests in the country, said Masuda Karukhi, a member of the Wolesi Jirga from Herat Province.

"Russia is ready to do anything for their interests in Afghanistan," Karukhi said.

"Russia, along with Iran, was a serious enemy of the Taliban during their rule, but now this country supports the Taliban in an effort to destroy Afghanistan," she added.

"People coming from Badghis three to four years ago reported that the Taliban received military equipment from Russia," she added. "Russia even provided night vision binoculars to the Taliban, who used them in martyring a number of our brave soldiers."

A question of power

The Taliban's ties with Russia show the group has always been a puppets of foreign countries and that its cause has nothing to do with establishing an Islamic government, said Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, also a member of the Wolesi Jirga from Herat Province.

"The Taliban prefer having power to seeing an Islamic state, and when they focus on power, they can't see anything else," he said, referring to the irony of the insurgents outfit's alliance with the Russian regime.

Ahmad Behruz, a political analyst in Kabul, said the Taliban are desperate for any support.

"The Taliban fight against the Afghan people in order take control and make money, and it doesn't make any difference from which country they receive money," he said.

"Unfortunately, our neighbours, especially Iran and Russia, make every effort to destroy Afghanistan's fledgling democracy, and the Taliban seek support from any country as it doesn't make any difference for them," said Behruz.

"It is sad that the Taliban continue to fight until they grab power, and that they blatantly seek support from Russia, which once invaded Afghanistan and martyred and disabled hundreds of thousands of our fellow Afghans," he added.

The Taliban's actions are enabling Moscow to indirectly kill Afghans once again, said Ahmad Farhad 26, a resident of Kabul city.

"My grandpa was martyred, my father lost his leg and thousands of our innocent citizens were killed during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, yet the Taliban have pledged allegiance to that invading country, who are trying to kill Afghans again," he said.

The Taliban do not respect national and historic interests and forge links with anyone who can help them continue their war against the government, said Sabawoon Hamdard, a student of law at a private university in Kabul.

"Unfortunately, the Taliban, despite calling themselves Afghan citizens, disregard national values, especially the Afghan jihad against the Russian invasion," said Hamdard.

"In order to keep up their war, the Taliban have become puppets of Russia, which ruined Afghanistan and martyred and disabled millions of Afghans," he added.

No religious justification

The Taliban's war in Afghanistan has no religious justification, especially since the killing Afghan citizens with Russian money is not considered "jihad", say religious scholars.

"As the Taliban have signed a peace deal with the United States, they have no valid excuse to continue fighting against foreigners and declare jihad against the Afghan people," said Mohammad Salem Hasani, a religious scholar in Kabul.

"The Afghan government is Islamic," said Hasani. "The government has never restricted Islamic affairs and rulings, but it has rather upheld, supported and strengthened them."

"There is a clear consensus among scholars in Afghanistan, Jeddah, Mecca and Indonesia that the Afghan government is Islamic, and according to the fatwa of these scholars, any violence and militancy against the government are prohibited," he added.

The so-called jihad in Islam has many subtleties and a set of criteria that have not been met in Afghanistan, said Maulawi Zabihullah Ateeq, a representative of Badakhshan in the Wolesi Jirga.

"Our government has many issues; we can't deny that. But the Taliban can't find any justification in Islam that might allow them to kill Afghan people in the name of jihad and preserve Islamic values," said Ateeq.

"You can't find it anywhere in Islamic [scripture] that allows you to kill dozens of civilians while attempting to target an Afghan soldier who's also a Muslim," added Ateeq.

The Taliban's violent activities have no place in Islam and the group has been forced to seek out Russian support to survive, said Sayed Jawad Husseini, an Afghan political analyst in Kabul.

"The Taliban have always perpetrated attacks and activities that didn't have any connection with Islamic teachings and national values of Afghanistan, and their destructive attacks violate Islamic principles," he said.

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We do not know whether Salaam Times is a Pakistani media outlet or that of the CENTCOM? Whenever the malign neighbors of Afghanistan are talked about, only Iran's name is mentioned. Do you think Pakistan has no role in the war in Afghanistan and supporting Taliban? And or that you think we eat hay and we do not know? Considering the media rules, you may better study all aspects of the case, and you judge all sides and groups related to the case as well as the countries and political sides in an unbiased manner… If Salaam Times is taking the side of Pakistan this way, and does not mention its name at all, Afghans know well that all the dirt Pakistan has so far made in Afghanistan, they have made it with consultation and order from the United States and they will continue to do so… as this way Afghanistan's worst enemy and a snake in our bosom is not Russia and Iran, but the United States and Pakistan. So, you may better get right and do not [indirectly] support Pakistan in your reports.

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The only way to prevent other countries' interference is to make a strong government in Afghanistan and people's economy grows so that countries of the region do not take advantage of people's need and they do not convince others against the interest of Afghanistan.

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In the length of history, Afghanistan has been a battleground for the proxy wars of the countries of the region, especially for Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. These three countries are the main cause of Afghanistan's devastation. Now these countries must fear from God and look for a logical solution and a lasting peace in order to solve the problem of Afghanistan. If these three countries that I mentioned, want from the bottom of their hearts, they can put an end to the war in Afghanistan, because they have both the money as well as advanced weaponry. These three countries have the right of veto in the United Nation’s Security Council. These countries have influence over the Arab countries as well as Pakistan and India. They can very easily solve the issue of the war in Afghanistan and can work for the development and alleviation of poverty in this country.

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Not only Taliban, but even some jihadist parties, especially the Northern Alliance, that fought against Russia for years, now have very close ties with that country. These Mujahedeen participate in the programs of Russian national days at the Embassy of Russia and celebrate the festival with them. Sometimes they even travel to Russia and meet with Putin. They should be ashamed and remind the blood of one million martyrs and many millions of the disabled who gave sacrifices against the invasion of the Soviet Union. Taliban should also feel ashamed. On one hand, they claim the formation of an Islamic government in Afghanistan, and on the other hand, they have relations with Russia and they fund their financial resources this way. So it is understood that the 40-year war in Afghanistan was for power, not for freedom and the establishment of an Islamic government. Over the past 40 years, the poor and oppressed people of Afghanistan have fallen victim to the wrong policies and power-seeking of the political parties and organizations in the country. Russia should also be ashamed of making friendship with those who caused its defeat. The war in Afghanistan costed Russia very dearly.

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I think Pakistan is more harmful for Afghanistan compared to any other country because Pakistan has been training militants for the last four decades and sending them to Afghanistan under the name of Jihad, Mujahideen, Taliban and ISIS and making them kill innocent people. Another point is that Russia considers itself as inheritor of the Soviet Union so it has to pay Afghanistan for the loses it caused. This remuneration can be in the form of weapons and scholarships for the students meaning that they have to give Afghanistan knowledge and technology. America and Russia both should help Afghanistan to get technology, resources and equipment.

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