Millions of Indians will throng Delhi airport if offered to settle in US: Taliban
Observer Report Kabul
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen on Thursday said that Afghan Taliban have the right to speak out in favour of the Muslims of occupied Kashmir.
In an exclusive interview to British Broadcasting Company (BBC) through video link on Thursday, the Taliban spokesman while recalling the terms of the Doha agreement with the United States, said they had no policy of conducting armed operations against any country.
He said that as a Muslim, it was their right to speak out for Muslims living in Kashmir, India and any other country.
“We will raise our voice and say that Muslims are our own people, our own citizens and they are entitled to equal rights under the law,” he said and added the eyes of the world are on India.
Critics say India has seen an increase in hate crimes against Muslims since 2014 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, the BJP and its allies deny the allegations.
The controversial law granting citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who have arrived illegally from three neighboring countries has also been seen as a target for Muslims.
Regarding the Haqqani Network, Shaheen said that the propaganda against the Haqqanis was based on mere claims, adding that Haqqani is not a group but they are part of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. “They are the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” he added.
In an interview with India’s TV9, Sohail Shaheen, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, sought to dismiss as “propaganda” media reports claiming that millions of Afghans were fleeing the Taliban rule in their country.
Anchor: “You [Taliban] have consistently assured the people of their safety. You have also announced a general amnesty. Yet crowds of Afghans are fleeing the country. Why is that so?”
Shaheen: “If the US makes an announcement now in India that anybody who wants to relocate to America shall reach Delhi airport within three hours, you will see hundreds of thousands of people [Indians] will turn up there.”
He went on to ask the anchor, “Does that mean all of these people are terrified of your [Indian] government?”
The anchor interjects: “A large number of people gathered at the same place where the deadly explosion took place a day earlier in a desperate attempt to get out of Afghanistan.
How would you respond to this? The anchor was referring to the August 27 suicide blasts that ripped through crowds at the American-controlled Kabul airport, killing dozens, including 13 US service members. The Khorasan franchise of Islamic State claimed credit for the sickening attack.
Shaheen: “You said a large number of people turned up at the airport. This is not true.” He blamed the US announcement of evacuating people from Afghanistan for the chaos at the airport.
“Most of the people gathered at the airport had never worked with the US or its allies. They saw it as an opportunity to get out of Afghanistan and settle in Western countries,” he added.