Anas Haqqani is youngest son of the military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who fought both the Soviets and the Americans, and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network

Anas Haqqani is youngest son of the military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who fought both the Soviets and the Americans, and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network

Won’t interfere in Kashmir, we want to have a good relation with India, says Taliban’s Anas Haqqani

Haqqani, 28, speaks at length on the Haqqani network’s Pakistan connection and relationship with India while rejecting accusations of terrorism against the guerrilla group controlled by his family and promising to provide complete security to all Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

Anas Haqqani is youngest son of the military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who fought both the Soviets and the Americans, and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network
Anas Haqqani is youngest son of the military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who fought both the Soviets and the Americans, and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network

After the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan bringing to an end its longest war in history, Anas Haqqani, the Taliban leader and scion of Afghanistan’s feared Haqqani Network has called for an amicable relationship with India and pledged not to interfere in the Kashmir issue.

In an exclusive interview to CNN News18, Haqqani, 28, rejected accusations of terrorism against the guerrilla group controlled by his family and promised to provide complete security to all Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

“Kashmir is not part of our jurisdiction and interference is against the policy,” Haqqani, who styles himself a poet, said. “How can we do against our policy? This is clear, we will not interfere,” he added.
Anas is the youngest son of the military commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who fought both the Soviets and the Americans, and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network

The outreach by Haqqani is the latest conciliatory signal from the Taliban leaders since the insurgent group took over Afghanistan. the new masters of Afghanistan, appearing keen to build friendly ties with India, which has poured money into rebuilding Afghan infrastructure. Excerpts:

Today (August 31) is a great day for you. Americans have gone?

Thank you very much. Yes, it is a big day for us.

You got the victory after twenty years. You also said now peace will prevail. How are you feeling?

It’s a blessing of God bestowed on us. We struggled twenty years for this. Today it’s our day of victory and the day of our independence. Everyone is happy and I’m hopeful that more beautiful days will come in the future.

You fought with Americans and now they have left. How do you see the world so that they can help and support you?

As per our policy, we don’t interfere in matters of others and we expect others also not to interfere in our matters also. We want all matters to be sorted amicably. Our doors are open for everyone. We want to have a good relationship with the rest of the world.

Haqqani is closely associated with Pakistan ISI and the Pakistan army. Now you are in the government. What will be your association with them?

We struggled for twenty years. There has been a lot of negative propaganda against us. Haqqani Network is working for everyone. Media worldwide and especially from India is doing all negative propaganda against us and it’s not good. This is spoiling atmosphere. No Pakistani weapon has been ever used in war. This is all wrong and baseless.

What kind of relationship is Haqqani Network looking at with India?

We want a good relationship with India. We don’t want anyone to think wrong and against us. India has helped our enemy for twenty years but we are ready to forget everything. And want to take the relationship forward.

Pakistan is very close to Haqqani and Pakistan is regularly interfering in Kashmir matters. You will interfere in Kashmir to support Pakistan?

Kashmir is not part of our jurisdiction and interference is against our policy. How can we do against our policy? This is clear we will not interfere.

So you are saying you will not interfere in Kashmir matter? And Haqqani will not support JeM and LET in Kashmir matter?

This we have clarified multiple times and I’m saying it again that this is propaganda.

All development work done by India in Afghanistan is pending. In case India wants to come and complete those projects will you allow them?

We will clarify all policies in the days to come. We want all help for the people of Afghanistan. We want not only India but rest of the world to come and support us.

Many Indians are stranded in Afghanistan and many Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are here. You assure that all are safe?

I want to assure all that everyone is safe in Afghanistan. There was some panic and fear initially but now things have settled and people are happy. Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are like other communities of Afghanistan and they should live happily.

In 2020 Kabul Gurudwara attack was blamed on Haqqani by the US. What do you have to say on that sir?

This is all propaganda by our enemies and media against us. This is false and wrong. We have never done that.

You were sentenced to death in 2016 but you were released in a prisoners’ exchange programme. What role will play in Taliban?

I don’t know my role in the Taliban. Time will tell and decide role for us. I’m a Muslim and take things as they come. Our aim was to get freedom and we got that. We don’t bother about role and power in the future. We will follow our elders and leaders.

What guarantee do you want to give India about the safety of Indians and the assets they have built?

After taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban has proved that we will take everyone along. We will take everyone with us. All propaganda is going on and want to assure all that they should be living with peace and happiness.

Women in Afghanistan are living in fear and are saying their freedom is over. What assurance do you want to give to females that they are safe with the Taliban?

This will be proved in days to come. We will declare all policies towards men and women and everything will be transparent.

Do you accept the Durand Line as a permanent border between Pakistan and Afghanistan?

This will also be cleared in days to come. I can’t confirm anything right now. Our elders will decide and declare this.

What is the scenario about government formation and by when we can expect the government in Kabul?

The major problem is over now. America is gone. The wait is over and very soon we will have good news about the government.

What kind of government are you expecting in Kabul?

This is going to be declared with time. We don’t want to discuss anything publicly about this.

What message do you want to give to the world for Taliban recognition and relationship in the future?

The world is aware that we are committed, people. We are against propaganda. People who wanted to fight in Afghanistan are exposed and we want a good relationship with everyone in the world. We want from rest of the world not to interfere in our matters and we will also not interfere in their matters.

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