KABUL (Pajhwok): Government Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has said the Taliban supreme Leader Mullah Habatullah Akhunzada will appear publicly when the nation-wide security is ensured.
During an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News he said green signals by the international community had been shown regarding the recognition of the current government.
He said Ulma Council and National Council will be convened to discuss matters related to the future system of the government.
Referring to Former President Ashraf Ghani's recent statement, Mujahid said:“We did not launched coup but he left the ground and he killed the time very well which was available for political reconciliation.”
He said government was committed to release all information regarding contracts and made it clear that they were not against professional journalism and urged propaganda and fake news should be prevented.
Mujahid said a relevant public institutions will discuss matters related to the national flag. Matters related to beard and turban are preached not enforced and efforts were on to re-arrest criminals to flee from jails during regime change.
Pajhwok: Islamic Emirate Supreme Leader Mawlavi Habatullah Akhundzada met people and officials in Herat, Kandahar, Helmand and other provinces but why doesn't he appear in the media?
Momineen Shaikh Mawlavi Habatullah Akhundzada has travelled to Kandahar, Farah, Herat and Helmand provinces and met common people there. This process may continue and his excellency will meet more people.
In Kandahar, he continuously meet elders and people, there are naturally reservations on the issue of camera coverage and photographing. Some security and other issue might have been the reason behind no media coverage of his excellency. He meets people, exchange views and send messages.
Pajhwok: Are there any security threats from any side?
Mujahid: One thing we should know that nation-wide security is not established and we have not received all the resources to ensure overall security. There may be some enemy forces who may have nefarious designs but we could not name any side. We witness some drone in the air in some provinces despite our repeated request to the US side that air surveillance should be stopped. Such things are also a security concern.
Pajhwok: Despite general amnesty why some individuals violate the order of Taliban leadership by arresting and torturing previous regime personnel?
Mujahid: People violated orders of Allah and our leader is a human, this happened but on few occasions. We witnessed two or three percent such cases not many.
Individuals who violated leadership order in this regard, these people misused their authority. They had been arrested, now we have around 200 prisoners who violated amnesty order. We cannot say why an individual is violating order but we can say that violators will be punished.
Pajhwok: There are reports that government officials embezzled foreign assistance and a portion of these assistance is given to security forces, What do you thing govt doesn't have the ability to maintain its armed forces.
There are two types of Assistence, one type is provided by NGOs for a particular portion of society and these NGO themselves distribute these assistance and government only monitor them.
The second type assistance is in the government control and they are distributed by five institutions — ICRC, Health Ministry, Natural Disaster Management Authority, Refugees Ministry and Martyres and Disabled Ministry.
If some of our people are listed in these five catagories but it never meant that other vulnerable persons are ignored and removed from lists. There are some assistance such as some businessmen provide to our forces.
Our forces have not received their salaries from that past six months and they have no fund for their meal and other essential needs.
Pajhwok: Officials in Uruzgan and Pakita have said that government employees should grow beard and wear turbans, while musical instruments were set on fire in Paktia. Why is the government so focused on such issues at this critical situation, when it has other important priorities ahead?
Mujahid : I don't know if it might be said by individuals, had the government such a plan, it would have been implemented in all provinces not in one or two provinces and the musical instruments that were burnt in Paktia…. We probed it, it was a video of the past, not the present, but still I say sometimes some perceptions of individuals are personal, or some of their actions are their own, they are curbed. It is not something that is repeated on a daily basis, or is repeated in the form of a program, or it is common for all people to suffer from it.
Pajhwok: Governors are 1st ranking officials in provinces, but most of them make recommendations on these issues.
Mujahid: I will say this is a matter of recommendation, all leaders when they speak, preach and advise individuals and countrymen, but they are not forced, on which the people will be punished, its only recommendations.
Pajhwok: S o such issues have not been enforced yet?
Mujahid: No, it has not been issued in the form of government so far, of course it has been recommended, our scholars always recommend it in mosques, the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recommends it, the governor who is the leader of a place, also gives advice to the people there. So it would be nice if people accept it because they are informed of Sharia, nothing else.
Pajhwok: The government has repeatedly said that employees of government institutions of the previous administration have been called for jobs, but information shows that not a single prosecutor and judge of the previous government has been asked. Are they excluded?
Mujahid: Currently about 80 percent of employees in all government institutions are the people of the previous government, they work with us and carry out their daily work with sincerity, but there were fears of bribery, embezzlement and theft in military or the judiciary. So some people are not asked to return. Of course, the administrative people of all institutions have been asked to return to their job, but people like judges, their deputies and people close to them are not called because of compulsions, we want this judiciary not to be as it was before, we want to bring positive change in it. People who were previously tainted with corruption should not be in this category.
Pajhwok: How long will the Islamic Emirate remain silent about the national flag?
Mujahid: This is a national issue. The Emirate will Inshallah (God willing), discuss this issue when a body of representatives of the nation is formed.
Pajhwok: The white flag next to you is not national?
Mujahid: We also call it the national flag; the whole nation has no problem with the white flag (لااله الا الله), it can represent the whole nation.
Pajhwok: so why more focus is made on another national flag?
Mujahid: Yes, if there are any demands, they can be discussed too.
Pajhwok: The visits between Afghanistan and Pakistan look stronger than ever before, you saw director of ISI visited Kabul after the fall of the previous administration, then the Pakistani foreign minister came and it was decided that last week Pakistan's NSA would visit Kabul, but his trip was canceled, while serious reaction exchanged on the Durand Line, even verbal dispute. The Afghan border forces prevented Pakistan from fencing the line and responded to the rocket attack from Pakistan, how do you assess the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan and why both countries are focusing this sensitive issue at such a critical time?
Mujahid: Fist the visits are common among representatives of the countries, as we travel to Pakistan we have more visits to Qatar, to Turkmenistan, to Iran and China, representatives of all countries have come to Afghanistan, of course the levels will be different, but at the level of foreign minister people have come here and such representatives come here on a daily basis. Afghanistan needs relationships. Afghanistan needs good relations with Pakistan, because we have a very long border, we have common values, religious, language and many other things, so the same is with Iran, our government officials have to go and find a solution to these problems and one is that when it comes to the Durand Line, we are not in favor of it, because maintaining the government needs stability, the nation needs peace, the issue of Durand Line is the issue of the nation and the nation should be given a chance, when the nation is in prosperity and solves its problem then we will present such issues for solution.
Pajhwok: When will this conflict be resolved?
Mujahid: We are trying not to pursue a policy of confrontation, but to pursue a policy of cooperation, every time we have a meeting with them, we have asked the Pakistani side to do the same. We must not compete but have cooperation, because the neighboring countries are connected to each other, whether we like it or not, Pakistan will be there and Afghanistan will be in its place, like Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and China, we are in favor of better relations, with our arrival relations with these countries have improved and we are trying more.
Pajhwok: When did you raise the Durand Line issue with Pakistani authorities?
Mujahid: I have already mentioned that the Durand Line is a very big issue, which is above the level of governments.
Pajhwok: But confrontations and problems arise from time to time on the Durand Line!
Mujahid: Yes, this problem is created for the purpose of hurting these nations, the line is drawn for that intention, but there is need for rationality that nations and countries on both sides should act responsibly on this sensitive matter and no arbitrary actions should be allowed. Some local-level confrontations may have taken place, but we do not allow the problem to turn serious and Pakistan also feels the same way.We try to control the situation. If there are some clashes on the local level, then governments have a duty to solve it so that it would not turn into a crisis.
Pajhwok: There were many notorious prisoners in Afghanistan's prisons, why prisons were broken and criminals released when Islamic Emirate took power?Can you assure people that released prisoners and criminals would be arrested again?
Mujahid: Yes, unfortunately it happened when the Islamic Emirate entered the cities, before we took control of the city, all security orders had been broken, the prisons were broken, the prisoners even came out on the streets to meet us. At that time, controlling, identifying and re-arresting prisoners was a difficult task. The situation was the same in Kabul and provinces. Prisoners should have not been released that way, we were trying the security in Kabul return to order in a better way, but it did not happen. We assure that efforts are on for the detention of criminals, many Daesh or ISIS militants have already been detained, other criminals are also under chase. If people lodge complaints, all criminals would be arrested.
Pajhwok: What is the threat to the current administration?
Mujahid: The current administration is new, it has different problems, I don't see any threat, because the threat would be when God forbid there was a big war against it, then it would have been a threat, now there are no threats, but there are problems, the biggest problem is the economy that needs to self-sustain. Unemployment should be reduced and the economic problems of the people should be solved. The second issue is security, which we are succeeded to a large extent,there are some incidents of robbery and kidnapping in some areas which also require control. The third is our relation with the world which requires us to have good relations with the international community, we cannot call them threats but problems, so these problems exist which is normal when a new situation forms.
Pajhwok: In the first conference after Islamic Emirate took power, you said that the war in Afghanistan is over, why Al-Fatah Army Corps said yesterday that it killed 10 resistance fighters in Balkh province, there are also reports of some explosions and casualties, what is your explanation about that?
Mujahid: Yes, the war is over, there is no war front against us, you cannot show us the physical location of any of such fronts, but secret explosions or attacks in which some people are killed happen in many countries, it is the job of the government to stop it, when they are arrested or killed, it means that the government is serious against them.
Pajhwok: Who are behind explosions?
Mujahid: These are two or three dimensions, one is a group called ISIS evils, although we do not see their physical presence, but they secretly carry out some explosions. Sometimes who raise their voice in the name of resistance also create some problems. The third is kidnapping and crimes which involve individuals.
Pajhwok: According to a survey by the Afghanistan's National Journalists Union (ANJU), 95 percent of journalists do not have access to information and cannot openly publish information they have access to. In addition, in the last five months, some journalists have been beaten and some of them tell us that they first share their reports with provincial departments of information and culture, why the government enforced this situation on media?
Mujahid: It is not the main problem, it does not mean censorship of media and I do not remember that in the last six months since I have been working in the Broadcasting Department of the Ministry of Information and Culture, if I opposed any report of Pajhwok. Your publications would continue as normal, but the main issue is that we should separate propaganda from a report. If journalists carry their job professionally, no one will criticize them, they should tell the truth, tell what is happening, no one will tell them to stop publishing the truth. Spreading rumors, speculations, propagandas and accusations are not media responsibilities, the media itself is against it, there is no place for such things in media rules, so we prevent such things. About journalists coordination with provincial information and culture departments, I can say that it is not a restriction, its aim is something else, our administration is new and people leading them are also new. In most cases, when a journalist visits an office, officials do not appear for interviews or they just try to skip, or they are not professional in responding to journalists. Sometimes journalists visit security organs where they face some problems, their cameras are taken and they are beaten, so to prevent such issues, we have directed information and culture departments to facilitate journalists' interviews with officials by introducing them to concerned organs, it helps journalists to do their job comfortably, but if a journalist visits an organ without our coordination and then face some problems, it depends on the journalist.