Global Policy Forum

Afghan Taliban Demand World Recognition

August 24, 2000

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement appealed to the world Thursday to give it official recognition and the seat at the United Nations that is still held by its opponents. "Afghanistan has completed all the criteria for official recognition," Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Maulvi Mohammad Saeed-ur-Rehman Haqqani told a news conference. "It controls more than 90 percent of the territory, including the capital of the country, all its international boundaries...and international airports."

Pakistan is one of only three countries that have recognized the Taliban government, the two others being Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

About 10 percent of Afghanistan, mainly in the northeast, is held by an opposition alliance led by ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani, whose forces were driven out of the capital Kabul by the Taliban in 1996. Rabbani is still widely regarded abroad as the genuine Afghan ruler and his representatives continue to occupy the Afghan seat at the United Nations.

The Taliban Islamic Emirate's appeal for world recognition preceded next month's U.N. General Assembly session where the question of the Afghan seat is likely to come up. "Law and order prevails in the country and there is a unified government ruling the country," Haqqani said. "There is peace and prosperity and people ... The people of Afghanistan are happy with the sovereignty of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and, therefore, we expect the international community would help the people of Afghanistan.


"Have mercy on the people of Afghanistan and give the United Nations seat to the true representatives of the people of Afghanistan whom the people like and support, and not to impose sanctions and bring more miseries for the people of Afghanistan," the ambassador said.

"Now the U.N. General Assembly is drawing close and it seems that the issue of Afghanistan's seat will be discussed in this assembly," he went on. "Our hope is that this seat would justly be given to the true representatives of the people of Afghanistan, which is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and not unjustly to the opposition, who are just bandits not representing the people of Afghanistan and ruling only a few valleys."

Haqqani called for an immediate end to "unwarranted intervention" in the internal affairs of Afghanistan that he said was responsible for Afghans' sufferings and the continuation of the civil war in their country. He said some Central Asian countries hurling "baseless allegations" at the Taliban for their internal troubles were interfering in Afghan affairs and causing problems by helping to prolong the war. Haqqani singled out neighboring Tajikistan, which he said had put its Kulab air base at the disposal of anti-Taliban forces to launch air attacks and provide supplies.

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