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Afghan people are desperate to live in peace: Daud Khattak
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Afghan people are desperate to live in peace: Daud Khattak


The world comes to know and hear about the political situation in Afghanistan through the eyes and perception of European media reporters. Most of them fail to have unbiased report on the views and hopes of Afghan people. The voice of the reporters who knows the ground realities of Afghanistan have great relevance in this situation.

In an exclusive interview with Madhyamam, Daud Khattak, who is the managing editor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Pashto language Mashaal Radio speaks about the recent political changes in Afganistan. Here is the excerpts from the interview with Khattak who keenly observes politics of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

How do you see the re-emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and their coming back to power?

Their victory has surprised not only the world but also the Taliban itself. Now that they have seized power, they are struggling to consolidate it. The challenge for the Taliban is more internal than external. We need to see how they agree on divisions of power. I see many a slip between the cup and the lips.

With your long experience in Afghan politics, can you explain how the Taliban survived all these years, where they regained power for the second time? Do you see any force behind them?

They will focus on proving their strength. No visible external force will destabilize if they keep their war-era discipline. This period is the real test and there is no force behind them. If you are referring to Pakistan, I don't think that Pakistan is providing any help to them militarily.

Do you believe that the Taliban will form an inclusive government in Kabul in future? Especially after the blast occurred in Kabul Airport, which claimed many lives or do you expect that the Taliban's anarchy and bloodshed will continue?

There will be incidents of insecurity and may go up in the days ahead mainly because IS-K is alive and kicking its activities. So far, the question of inclusive government is concerned, that seems like the inclusion of a few leaders such as Karzai and Abdullah, but that does not mean they will be offered some key positions. They will get some nominal positions.

Do you hope for any drastic changes in the Taliban's governance policy, and are you expecting the Taliban to surprise the world with their new prospects and policy?

Changes are visible as they are not beating women, not forcing men to pray or have beards and emphasising the need for free media. But the bigger question is: will they continue like this after consolidating power? I am sceptical about this issue.

Has the Taliban ever gotten support from the Communist bloc in Afghanistan?

I would say there is no proof for this, or maybe I don't know about this.

How do you see the overall reaction of the general Afghan public on the Taliban's second coming? Are global media portraying the right side of the story, or are they doing negative reporting from the ground?

Afghan people are desperate to live in peace. After all, this is 40 years of war. Common/average Afghans are more concerned about jobs, security, life in peace than anything else.

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