Monday, August 20, 2007

Taleban and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The USG Open Source Center translates an article about the Taliban resurgence and their attempt to ingratiate themselves with the Shanghai Cooperation Council (Russians, Chinese and Central Asians).


Afghan paper says Taleban trying to represent themselves in a new shape
Cheragh (Light)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
[OSC]

Afghan paper says Taleban trying to represent themselves in a new shape

Text of editorial in Dari, "Post-war Taleban, taking the initiative of foreign policy", published by independent Afghan newspaper Cheragh on 18 August
During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting on Thursday (16 Aug) in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, the Taleban, besides sending an open letter to heads of the states participating at the SCO meeting on behalf of their leadership council, asked the SCO to focus its attention on a number of issues over which this group (Taleban) was accused of violations, both in the past and now.

In this letter, the Taleban not only wanted the SCO to refrain from viewing the purpose of their fight through the eyes of the Americas, which is negative and "unrealistic", they also wanted the organization to reconsider its views on the Taleban because, according to the content of the letter, the Taleban are no longer terrorists and are not after interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. The letter also says the Taleban are not against the national interests and territorial integrity of any countries but respect them.
The Taleban spokesman says Afghanistan has been occupied by the USA and therefore waging war is their indisputable right.

With their precise diplomatic demands in this letter and their word games, the Taleban are showing that their isolation during their reign in Afghanistan taught them a lesson. Therefore, taking into consideration this lesson, the Taleban are trying not to repeat the provocative slogans undoubtedly planned by the countries opposing the presence of the mojahedin in Afghanistan and the ones who wanted to gain a foothold in Central Asia. Also, after reorganizing their fighting groups and challenging the Afghan and NATO security forces, the Taleban are trying to join in politics and in taking advantage of the weakness of the4 Afghan government's foreign policy in adopting a clear and practical strategy, the Taleban are trying to take huge advantage in the future.

Of course, this change in the Taleban mentality and the initiative in their psychological war show the presence of an active diplomatic body of the neighbouring country that wants to give the Taleban a new face as if the Taleban can respect and observe the regulations and international standards and to present them to the world, especially the SCO member countries. The SCO was set up out of fear of the expansion of the ideology of Talebanization to the newly-independent Central Asian countries. The other aim of this letter was to give an assurance that the Taleban can reach an understanding and are ready to have mutual cooperation with this organization.
Therefore, before the Taleban can take the initiative, the government of Afghanistan and the countries which support it should reconsider all their assessments. They should respect the demands of the people and neighbouring countries that Afghans should ensure the country's peace and security.

(Description of Source: Kabul Cheragh (Light) in Dari -- Eight-page independent daily, publishes political, social and cultural articles; critical of the transitional government)

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