Qari Yousif Ahmadi is a spokesman for the Taliban and their operations in southern Afghanistan, including the provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul, and Oruzgan. Susan Ormiston interviewed him by telephone.
Full Interview Transcript
Susan Ormiston - Hello this is Susan Ormiston from CBC. We want to know whether the Taliban is prepared to talk to the government?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - In the name of Allah. The old government does not have any authority and the new one will not have as well. We refuse any contact with them.
Susan Ormiston - We are told by many sources that there are moderate Taliban members who would be willing to enter into negotiation in the future. Do you accept that?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - Well, first, these people do not know anything about the Taliban. Secondly when they say that the government wants negotiation not fighting...that war has been imposed on us, we are fighting in self-defence. They say there are two types of Taliban among us. There is only one type, there is no moderate nor hard-line Taliban.
Susan Ormiston - We expect you to say publicly that you are united there is one Taliban. Isn't it possible though that some others in your group would be willing to talk or talking to the government?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - We absolutely reject the idea. You must realize that the Taliban is one and not two.
Susan Ormiston - Are there conditions under which you would negotiate rather then fight to the end?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - Our condition is that they...who have caused so much suffering for Afghans and killed so many of our fellow Afghans...they should leave this country without any condition. They should never return. Once the foreigners leave Afghanistan, we will have our country back.
Susan Ormiston - Why did you make the decision not to participate in these elections and send your own representative to government? Wouldn’t that be another way to achieve your aims?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - The Taliban’s participation with the government in these elections would be acting like a thief and entering someone’s home where there are more thieves and then deciding how to share what they’ve stolen.
Susan Ormiston - Are there conditions under which you would negotiate rather then fight the end?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - Our condition is that they...who have caused so much suffering for Afghans and killed so many of our fellow Afghans...they should leave this country without any condition. They should never return.
Once the foreigners leave Afghanistan, we will have our country back. As I said before, the Taliban are not insisting on fighting. If there is need for the Taliban to fight they will. If there is need for peace, we will bring peace. But now fighting has been forced on the Taliban.
Susan Ormiston - What do you say then to people that we have spoken to here in Kabul, former Talib members like Rahmani and Rocketi who say that yes there is group who would engage with the government?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - We have heard their voice. We said last year and we also say now that any Talib who lives in Kabul does not represent the Taliban movement.
Susan Ormiston - Many Afghans your brothers are being killed many more then western forces now. Why are you continuing to fight in this way?
Qari Yousif Ahmadi - No, we do not agree. This is their propaganda. Afghans are not killed. There is war between foreigners and locals. In any incursion the targeted people are killed. No single ordinary Afghan is killed by us. In fact mass murder is done by them. The Taliban have only simple rifles and rockets. They are the ones who possess weapons of mass killing. They have different modern weapons and ammunition. They have even made use of atomic and chemical weapons in some places like Helmand and Farah. They bomb homes. The Taliban do not do mass killings since the Taliban hit their specified target. Taliban have nothing to do with civilians and this all propaganda.