Summary: The host set the background of the interview by giving a short synopsis of the creation of the Taliban. In 1979 the Taliban were created in Afghanistan, to fight against the Soviet forces – what was then called the Afghani Jihad. Unfortunately even when the forces left, the Taliban fire was not extinguished. Maulana Samiul Haq was a big part of this network, with a large number of his students occupying important positions in the hierarchy of the Afghan Taliban.
Since the incoming government faces a big challenge of peace and combating terrorism, Maulana Samiul Haq was invited for an exclusive interview so that he could share hihs knowledge thoughts and views on how such peace could be obtained.
Maulana Saimul Haq stated that after 9/11 the State of Pakistan was stuck in a political dilemma, and the Government of the day messed up. Even when America was losing in the region, our government pulled the war towards themselves. Pakistani sir bases and other resources were utilized in support of the U.S and against the people of Afghanistan.
The government of that time as well as the next democratic government under the Pakistan People’s Party did not recognize what this would mean for Pakistan in the long run. He stated that he, himself had been a member of parliament about three years ago and had tried to get the government to start peace talks with the Taliban and the government had initially supported this idea until the United States had given its disapproval. Thereafter the government had made excuses for not starting peace talks, based primarily on American pressure and to appease the United States.
He said that in the past, Swat. Wazristan, and now the Kurram agency in Khyber Pakhtunkhua province are constantly being bombed; all because the government did not have peace talks with the Taliban.
He stated that now, both relevant parties, PML-N majority in the Federal Government and PTI majority in Khyber Pakhtunkhua were elected on the basis that they would initiate peace talks with the Taliban so as to create a peaceful Pakistan. He said what was essential for both parties to do was to prove that they are no longer a part of this war which was not theirs in the first place, it was America’s war and Pakistan should never have entered it.
He also said that the most important thing was that the peace-talks should be pursued till the end when a solution was found. The two relevant governments and the army should come up with a unified agenda and based on this combined policy pursue the talks. Only then can peace be achieved.
He stated that good relations with all countries in the world were essential but all relations should be made on equal footing. Pakistan has till now served as a slave to the U.S. and has not been sovereign with regard to its policies and decision-making.
He stated that the Taliban consider everyone standing with the United States as an enemy sicne to them it signifies that the State is standing on the side of the country that is killing their people. He said that one good thing that has happened is that General Pervaiz Musharraf has been permanently ousted from Pakistani politics and this presents a good footing to start peace talks.
He said the foundation so the peace-talks should be that the State of Pakistan and the Army are not against the Taliban but will protect them from foreign threat.
Speaking on behalf of the Taliban, a lot of whom have been his students and he is still in contact with, Maulana stated that the Taliban believe that they have lost a lot of lives for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and therefore the State of Pakistan should not stand agaisnt them but support them
In the end he stated that the United States has lost this war and are pulling out in 2014, Pakistan cannot go on with this war against its own people. He said that there are certainly a lot of groups within the Taliban but they all share the same agenda, to live in an Islamic country and in accordance to the teaching of the Holy Prophet, therefore once talks start, they will all slowly come to the table.
He also said that the Taliban have said in the past that the current system in Pakistan is un-Islamic, but within the same institutions Islam can be brought in, it will not be necessary to change the democratic nature of the country.
He said that a true Islamic State is beneficial to all as even once such a system was created in Swat, non-Muslim regions from the province of Balochistan had contacted the Taliban asking them to establish similar institutions there. Please note however that he did not provide any proof of this.
With regard to education he insisted that once the Soviet forces left Afghanistan the United States had not supported any development in the region, it had been the Taliban who had realized the need for education and created separate institutions for women so that they could receive education. He said that the Taliban were not against women receiving education as long as the institutions that they attended were separate from male ones and as long as they studied under the Hudood criteria, i.e. under hijab. In Pakistan the attacks on educational institutions have been a result of war, not because the Taliban are against education.