Former Afghan Intelligence Chief: "Taliban may take some cities but they will be not able to extend their control all over Afghanistan" - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
03 July 2021
n interview to Baku Tribune was given by the former Afghan Intelligence Chief Rahmatullah Nabil.
- The government of Afghanistan may lose control over the country within six months after the withdrawal of American troops from the country. This is stated in a new report by the US intelligence services, referred to by The Wall Street Journal. How would you comment on this? Is there such a risk at all?
- I have doubt about this analysis with some assumptions, due to progress which Afghans has made in 20 years particularly the younger generation (30 years old of 65% of population). A lot has been changed for Taliban compare to year 1996, and they are not welcomed in urban area despite with very high frustration with the current government. Taliban has not come up with any clear plan of which sort of governing system they will implement while Afghans still remember that era even they become brutal in certain aspects. Last time they were welcomed due to anarchies crated by Mujahidin in Urban centers, although Afghans consider that the current government bad, but they consider Taliban worse, due to which they may try to takeover but still difficult to succeed in six months.
- Do you think the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan can be delayed amid a new message from the US intelligence services? Does the military leadership still intend to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the target date - by September 11?
- What we think, instead of slowing down withdrawal it will be more easy and productive to accelerate the peace process through better coordination with the region and key stockholders, increase pressures on Pakistan to deliver, use their influence on Afghan government to enter to a genuine Afghan dialogue and reduce the trust daffiest which are existing externally and internally.
- Beginning this year, there has been a series of military successes by the Taliban, including the capture of a key area in northern Kunduz province this week. What is behind the Taliban's military successes? Why can't Ashraf Ghani's government deal with them?
- Unfortunately most key position of Afghan government are controlled by very inexperienced Afghans who come from outside with tactical mentality, with less knowledge of Afghan complexed situation. Disunity among Afghan politicians and its impact on the ANDSF moral is another reason, the surprised and unconditional troops withdrawal by President. Biden is another element and more importantly the distance between the people and the government and luck of popularity of the central government is another reasons. Why North? Because Taliban with the help of some sleeper cells of regional terrorists who moved in to the North of Afghanistan prior or during Zarb e Azab operation of Pakistan in North Waziristan and using the local protection help Taliban to capture some districts where the formation of similar residents of post 1996 could be expected. Plus some other managerial issue as well.
- Some experts believe that the Taliban will come to power. How will the internal political situation in Afghanistan change if the Taliban come to power? Will peace and stability come to Afghanistan?
- Based on the some of above given reason Taliban may take some cities but definitely they will be not able to maintain it or extend their control all over Afghanistan, in this case Afghanistan will enter to very destructive civil war with the envelopment of ALQAEDA, IS-Khurasan, Fatimyon, and other regional territories which not have impact only on Afghanistan, but the region and behind the region.
- Someone says that the coming of the Taliban to power is necessary and will be useful to the people, Afghanistan. Is it so? How would you comment on this?
- Those who are coming with this ideas, if they are outsiders then they should first tested in their own territory, but if Afghans are thinking this way, it is because of frustration with weak and corrupt system that has been imposed on Afghans. Not because of their love with Taliban and their system in 21th centuries.
- Russia is in favor of launching a direct inter-Afghan dialogue with the assistance of international partners. How do you assess this initiative?
- Afghanistan suffered for four decades due to imposing systems and leadership from outside. From Soviet Union times, then Mujahedeen/Taliban by Pakistan and Iran and then Bone process till now, no one succeeds. I always believe that proxy peace will have consequences of proxy war. Best solution will be to allow Afghans to talk and reach to an agreement of ruling system in Afghanistan which will be acceptable to diverse society of Afghanistan and Rural and Urban area or Traditional and moderate. Instead of Forcing us to were the Coat of others which they made for themselves, let us/help us to make our own Coat. This is long standing wish and desire of Afghans to help us instead of imposing on us. This initiative will be most welcomed.
-The Uzbek army is on alert. In connection with the aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan began a sudden check of the combat readiness of the troops, the Ministry of Defense of the republic said. Is there a risk of Taliban infiltration into Central Asia? Are the Taliban looking for new ways to penetrate Central Asia?
- I think Taliban or their associate will not try to infiltrate to any country at this stage and they invested a lot on that they have only internal agenda on so on. Also it will take time for them, controlling entire Afghanistan particularly North will be not easy for them, but in case of sense of victory in Kabul the regional terrorist will plan/push to the central Asia. In that case controlling border with Afghanistan will less challenged for Uzbek then infiltration through Turkmenistan and Tajikistan border due to access of regional terrorists through the land. But for ideological war groups setting boundary will be a challenging task. It is not possible that North Afghanistan may turn to Become North Waziristan for central Asia if the sense of Victory grows up among these terrorist network.
Interviewed by Seymur Mammadov