‘Unjustified war’: In a first, Afghan Taliban leader opposes TTP’s fight

Published: July 21, 2014
Dissident Afghan Taliban leader Mutasim Agha Jan. PHOTO: FILE

Dissident Afghan Taliban leader Mutasim Agha Jan. PHOTO: FILE


A former Afghan Taliban cadre said on Sunday that the Pakistan Taliban’s war against the state is unjustified as “Islam doesn’t permit Muslims to fight against Muslims”. Agha Jan Mutasim, a former Taliban minister and close aide to Taliban supremo Mullah Omar, also advised the Pakistani government and the army to find a negotiated settlement to the issue.

This is the first time an Afghan Taliban leader has publicly opposed the Pakistani Taliban’s campaign against the state.

“The war of the Pakistani Taliban against the Muslim army and the government of Muslims is against Islam as our religion doesn’t permit this,” Mutasim told The Express Tribune in an exclusive telephone interview on Sunday. “The religious leaders of Pakistan and other influential people should play an active role to end the war in Pakistan as fighting is not in favour of anyone,” he added.

Mutasim had served as finance minister until the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001. He was critically injured in a firing incident in Karachi in 2010 and was shifted to Turkey for treatment.

The Taliban leader also condemned suicide attacks in Pakistan, saying Islam doesn’t allow attacks which kill Muslims whether it is in Pakistan or in Afghanistan. “We’ve economically suffered a lot due to this senseless war and suicide attacks. When we Muslims fight against Muslims the world considers us as backward nations,” he added.

At the same time, Mutasim said the Pakistani government should also review its policy of use of force because it would only prolong hostilities.

Insurgency in Afghanistan

Mutasim opposed the Afghan Taliban’s insurgency. “Fighting own people, own forces and own government is useless. The Afghans are Muslims and you cannot fight against Muslims,” he argued. But he also urged the Kabul administration not to kill its own people [Taliban]. “Both sides should sit together and work out a compromise as the foreign troops are now preparing to pull out,” he said.

“The Taliban could justify their war against foreign forces as they had invaded Afghanistan and the Taliban had to defend their country and their faith. But if the Taliban want to continue the war after the withdrawal of Nato forces it would amount to an anti-Islam action,” he said. He called for an intra-Afghan dialogue to avoid instability in Afghanistan post-2014.

Afghanistan, Mutasim said, is now undergoing a democratic transition and all sides – the Jihadis, political leaders and the government – should keep in mind national and Islamic values because the country is passing through a sensitive phase.

Asked if the Taliban were in a position to take over Afghanistan like they had done in 1996, Mutasim said, “it’s a changed Afghanistan now. And the Taliban are not in a position to overrun the country.”

Unlike the past the Taliban don’t have a support base, he added. “The Taliban had taken over Afghanistan when there was no Afghan army, no police force, no security institutions and the warlords had only control in their respective areas,” he said.

“Now, the world supports the Afghan National Army and the government, while the Taliban do not enjoy support among the Afghans. In the past, the people of Afghanistan supported the Taliban because they were fed up with the warlords,” he said. However, he added that the Taliban could intensify the insurgency and create problems in most parts of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2014.


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Reader Comments (21)

  • Jibran
    Jul 21, 2014 - 7:31AM

    No thank you. We don’t need to negotiate with these criminals. One can never tame snakes.


  • Shah
    Jul 21, 2014 - 8:11AM

    And who woke you up?


  • s3
    Jul 21, 2014 - 9:20AM

    Whoa! finally he speaks SOME SENSE after so much blood shedRecommend

  • Azi
    Jul 21, 2014 - 9:58AM

    Well keyword is “Ex”. Too bad he realized it so late.


  • Moiz Omar
    Jul 21, 2014 - 12:10PM

    Both sets of Taliban are terrorists.


  • Ali S
    Jul 21, 2014 - 12:45PM

    I’m guessing he’s at a safe distance from his ex-comrades by now, otherwise there’s no way an ounce of sense could be coming from such people


  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Jul 21, 2014 - 12:49PM

    Very well and truly said and TTP must has to cerebrate about it and take it seriously to end the war of muslims versus muslims and killings of the muslims each other……


  • salman
    Jul 21, 2014 - 1:23PM

    Since you have finally spoken in the interest of Pakistan, now a drone is ready for you.


  • Khan Gul
    Jul 21, 2014 - 1:29PM

    His name is amongst the list of possible ministers in Ashraf Ghani government. Nevertheless, he has always been a moderate.


  • reap
    Jul 21, 2014 - 1:51PM

    Looks like money has changed hands.


  • scotchpak
    Jul 21, 2014 - 3:29PM

    By the same token no state actor (army/police or adm) has the right to make deals with foreign infidels without approval of an elected body of elders (non-senile ones)Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Jul 21, 2014 - 3:45PM

    too late too little


  • Jul 21, 2014 - 6:00PM

    Muslim killing Muslims is against Islam. So killings in Syria, Iraq Libya ( where Muslims are Killing Muslims) is against Islam. Why no Islamic scholar/ common men condemn the blood shed/ civil war displacement of innocent people facing hardship. Oh, there is one way out and declare the rival as non Muslim and problem is over.
    Mutasim has also given the reason for Islamophobia ( where it is ok to kill non Muslims).


  • Jul 21, 2014 - 6:11PM

    The statement issued by Agha Jan Mutasim is a clear contradiction to the TTP’s actions in the region. TTP and other terrorist organizations have killed thousands of innocent people in the region. We have also lost thousands of brave soldiers in our shared fight against terrorism. The people of region have seen the truth, and these terrorists are unable to manipulate people into buying their contradictory statements. In fact, according to the poll by PEW research, majority of Pakistanis reject their terrorist ideology and stand against extremism in the country. With all said, we reiterate what Rear Admiral John Kirby, Defense Department Press Secretary, said recently: “We’ve been very clear for many years now that we share common threats with the Pakistanis, that terrorism there is a regional issue, it’s not just an Afghan issue or a Pakistan issue. It’s the whole region, and we remain committed to having as cooperative and as constructive a relationship with Pakistan as possible.”

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM


  • S. Nasir Mehdi
    Jul 21, 2014 - 7:35PM

    Talibans are without teacher, they are still Talibs ( students). Unfortunately their God Fathers are also – paidal- as far as Islamic teachings are concerned. They have memorized a few holy verses and claim to be Moulana, Mulla, Rais ul Ulema


  • jami
    Jul 21, 2014 - 7:57PM

    Demonstration of force garners respect. These barbarians only know the language of danda – show them you can use it, and they will bow to you.

    Hats off to Gen Raheel Sharif.


  • Ajmal
    Jul 22, 2014 - 12:20AM

    The belated comments are un-necessary. They should have been advised then they were killing innocent people.


  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Jul 22, 2014 - 1:25AM

    TTP are Indian agents. They are the same kind of khwarij heretics which supported invasion of Afghanistan, disuniting Syrians/Iraqis rebels, and preaching sectarianism around the world. It only serves India to have bloodshed in Pakistan, especially the blood of loyal Pakistanis on their hands. We knew all along about TTP, i.e. fake Taliban paid by India.


  • THE
    Jul 22, 2014 - 2:43AM

    Too little too late. Where was this guy when terrorists were sending suicide bombers to attack our airports, hospitals, schools and bazars? Now that these terrorists are getting a taste of their own medicine, he remembers that we are Muslims too? What a farce!


  • Mian Waqar Badshah
    Jul 22, 2014 - 8:43PM

    He is right in his opinion that Muslims didn’t fight with muslims. Unfortunately our enemies are using TTP as tool, knowing that both sides are muslims and they are celebrating both side deaths and destructions. In history war is not the solution, I am not in the favor of TTP bcz they are killing annocents public in Pakistan. Now its not so late.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Aug 24, 2014 - 8:18PM

    Tone is changing , but stll tough , means USCENTCOM has to work for many years to come .Terrorists are terrorist ,they have surrender their illegal arms where ever they are in the world .


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