• publish: 25 September 2021
  • time: 11:32 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 18837
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Iranian Mohammad Hossein Jafarian’s phone interview with Ahmad Massoud

An inclusive government was promised, but we saw something else!

Anyone who says that these things did not happen should see the proof in the ongoing news. An inclusive government was promised, but we saw what this inclusive government turned out in practice.

Mr. Mohammad Hassan Jafarian, an Iranian experienced and well-known journalist in a trip to Afghanistan, has interviewed the leader of Panjshir resistance in Afghanistan, Ahmad Masood.

The exact interview text is as below:

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian

Mr. Massoud, as the leader of a resistance, you are faced with questions that are not easy to reply to, but I want to ask you this: why should we stand against the Taliban, whose flag contains the “words of God” and who are supposedly students and adherents of a religion we all share? What is your opinion?

Ahmad Massoud:

Greetings again, Mr. Jafarian, thank you for your help, and I am grateful. The answer to this question is not difficult at all. We did not impose war on anyone in any way. We were not aggressive or belligerent. We have always left the door to peace, negotiation and compromise open. But unfortunately it was the decision of others to impose war on our people. Everything we predicted (that our adversaries have no belief in the concept of freedom, people’s rights, human rights, women’s rights, and equal right to educations), all came true. What they believe in is totalitarianism, dogmatism and looking backward. We see the same policy being pursued day by day by this particular group. Our struggle has been to defend these values ​​that are red lines for our people and our nation. We sacrificed over a long time to realize such principles. It was never just a matter of personal decision or will; it had to be done for the entire Afghan nation.

We had imagined political negotiations, but then war was imposed on us and it broke out over our homes and we had to defend ourselves and the country. We never started this war, but it’s our patriotic and religious right to stand up and defend against a faction that wants to endanger and confiscate the dignity, honor, life and property of a nation.

Anyone who says that these things did not happen should see the proof in the ongoing news. An inclusive government was promised, but we saw what this inclusive government turned out in practice. You mentioned their flag and the words of God quoted on it. Well, we have seen the same words more or less written on the ISIS flag. So why is it right to fight ISIS and not fight others who repeat the very same acts, have the same extremist views, and have committed the same crimes? They (the Taliban) have been engaged in such crimes for decades, isn’t this right? How is it that resistance against them is now not allowed? Whether it is from a religion angle, or that of civilization, nationality and humanity, this struggle and defense is legitimate and we are proud of it.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

Some of your supporters in cyberspace associate the Panjshir resistance to only a particular ethnic group (the Tajiks), and these supporters sometimes attack other ethnic groups online, especially the Pashtuns (of which the Taliban are mostly composed of). Therefore, there are those who say a lot more needs to be done to bring a diversity of ethnic groups together under the umbrella of resistance.

Ahmad Massoud:

Our struggle is for the independence and freedom of Afghanistan, not the freedom of a specific geography or ethnic group. I have to remind you of the oppression the Pashtuns, too, experienced in Kandahar over the last few months, or the various forced migrations against the people of Daikundi and the Hazaras. Many of these instances were in fact far worse than what has been done to us in Panjshir. We are fighting for everyone. Our flag stands by us as a symbol of resistance and we cherish and value it. Anyone who says that our resistance is only for a particular people and a particular geography is wrong. Our struggle is for the independence of an Afghanistan which unfortunately has disappeared today.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

Have Afghanistan’s neighbors met your expectations? What do you expect from your neighbors?

Ahmad Massoud:

I appreciate the position of our neighbors who have not spoken to legitimize [the Taliban] to this date. We endorse this position and urge them to stand by it. I ask them to endorse the enactment of what was agreed on in previous talks: working towards the establishment of an inclusive government that guarantees freedom, independence and justice in Afghanistan. This will secure the interests of the entire region as well. At the same time, I need to remind you that the people of Afghanistan will remember these difficult days. We are so grateful to the common people in our neighboring countries. People in these countries showed – in the darkest days – that humanity does not know any borders. Regular citizens, and not necessarily their governments, from all over the world, especially Iran, showed support for the people of Afghanistan to an unimaginable extent. I hope that the countries in the region can prevent a major crisis and bring stability to Afghanistan. An Afghanistan in chains cannot possibly bring stability to the region.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

Some people argue that resistance is a destroyer of peace itself. Some oppose this idea of taking up arms. what is your opinion?

Ahmad Massoud:

We could have remained silent and, I suppose, “security” could have prevailed in Afghanistan. But there is also security in North Korea. Do we want conditions like North Korea? Security that is under tyranny, oppression, domination, fear and terror is temporary. It breeds bigger crises in the end. Our resistance and struggle is because of principles ​​that are worthy of any sacrifice. Our homes have been completely destroyed and demolished. As we speak, many crimes have already been committed in Panjshir. It’s true that had we not resisted in Panjshir, Panjshir too, like other provinces, could have been taken without much fighting. But I talk with a lot of families. Not one has asked me why we started this resistance? All Afghans believe that living under slavery is worse than dying. We are ready to be killed. I myself came to Panjshir with the intention of martyrdom, if need be.

 Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

What is the position of Mr. Amrullah Saleh [the former Vice President now in Panjshir] in the resistance?

Ahmad Massoud:

Mr. Amrullah Saleh is fully cooperative. What may have happened in the past in Kabul belongs to the past. Now the resistance has the same voice and all differences have been put aside.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

Have you asked a country for direct help?

Ahmad Massoud:

To this date, I have not personally requested public assistance from a country.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

But you published an article in the Washington Post asking the Americans to intervene and help, can you talk about that? Was the article effective? Do you have an explanation for asking for this help and have you asked for similar help from other countries?

Ahmad Massoud:

About that article, I need to acknowledge that it was an exceptional and difficult situation in Panjshir. There were friends who were trying to get help any way they could. They suggested that because the people of Afghanistan blamed the United States for the current situation, then the US must intervene and help in any way possible. I was, needless to say, in Panjshir when the article was published and not entirely aware of how that final draft turned out. Since the Americans were, let’s admit, the prominent creators of this crisis, the thinking went that the US must play a role in doing something about it. Of course, it did not work out that way. That said, at this point we welcome any country that steps into the fight against terrorism and stands by the people and the country of Afghanistan.

As we speak, dozens of terrorist groups have already entered Afghanistan under the banner of the Taliban and their shadow. Al-Qaeda has begun operations, recruiting and training, which undoubtedly threatens the entire region and beyond. We in Panjshir are ready to fight it alone. To this date, no help has come our way from anywhere. We accept this responsibility and will try to save Afghanistan and keep terrorism at bay by ourselves if we have to.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

We know that your education was in the field of military science. Are your interests limited to political and military affairs?

Ahmad Massoud:

A Russian reporter once asked my father, “What do you want your child to become in the future?” He replied, “We want him to become a diplomat.” The reporter then asked if this wasn’t a waste, since my father was a military man, as was his father before him. My father’s answered, “Then let it be a waste!”

I wish this “waste” had come to pass. I honestly have no interest in military or even political affairs, but this situation was imposed on us. Today if I am active in the field of battle, it is only to defend my nation and my people. My own personal interest was always astronomy. I still recall watching your Iranian television as a kid when programs about the skies and stars were shown. I would have loved to study literature and/or astrophysics. But today I have other responsibilities, as does the Afghan nation.

 Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

I know of your interest in [Persian] poetry and literature. If you were to recite a poem by Hafez of Shiraz right now, which would you choose?

Here is one that I recall my father would always recite:

A merry day is one when I depart this demolished house/and happily go towards the pleasure of my soul/there is no ending to this strange road/yet I follow the scent of that disturbed lock of hair.

Mohammad Hossein Jafarian:

Thank you for giving me this half hour amidst all the troubles you must contend with.

Ahmad Massoud:

For me, the documentary that you made about my father, The Unfinished Epic, is always like a frame that I happen to be standing next to. This interview was the very least I could do. Thank you and also to your compatriots from every walk of life – doctors, nurses, managers, teachers, et cetera – who have reached out to offer their readiness to assist our just cause. May God bless all those who have ever stood up for the sake of justice and liberty.

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