Taliban claims it has ‘no hand in civilian killings’

The Taliban early Monday said there was no truth in the claims made Sunday by the foreign community in Afghanistan that it was killing civilians, destroying public infrastructure and carrying out assassinations.

In a statement published on their website, the Taliban stated: “Representatives of a number of European and other countries have baselessly asserted through a statement that the Islamic Emirate is continuing a senseless war, is killing civilians, is destroying public infrastructure and is involved in assassinations.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan rejects all such allegations,” the statement read adding that “all charges which they have leveled are unsubstantiated.”

According to the Taliban, the group “has absolutely no hand in civilian killings and neither is it involved in the destruction of public infrastructure, rather it considers safeguarding and securing public infrastructure its own responsibility.”

This comes after the EU and other diplomatic missions in Afghanistan including Australia, Canada, the UK, the US and NATO, issued a joint statement on Sunday that called out the Taliban for the ongoing attacks.

In a united front, they accused the Taliban of being responsible for the majority of targeted violence in the country and said the group’s “attacks undermine state institutions and contribute to an insecure environment in which terrorist and criminal groups are able to freely operate.”

The foreign missions pointed out that they had all invested heavily in energy, food security, water resources, and road infrastructure for the benefit of the Afghan people.

In line with this aid having been provided they said: “We condemn the ongoing destruction of vital infrastructure, including digging up roads, destroying cell towers, and blowing up energy stations by the Taliban.

“These actions serve no purpose besides hurting the Afghan people who – largely due to decades of conflict – suffer from food insecurity and significant economic and development challenges, further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.”

The missions stated that the Taliban must “understand that their violent, destructive actions outrage the world and must cease if peace is to come to Afghanistan.”

The EU and foreign missions stated they “expect the Taliban to demonstrate its support for the people of Afghanistan by ending the violence, stopping the destruction of vital infrastructure, and committing to a sustainable peace, for the benefit of all Afghans.”

But the Taliban shifted blame and stated: “The principle and leading cause for the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is foreign occupation from which the Afghans have died for a full two decades, which has imposed on our people an impotent administration and which is still continuing to lend support to this corrupt regime.”

The group went on to blame foreign countries, including the EU for the current crisis.

“Unfortunately, most countries including the European Union are either directly or indirectly involved in the tragedies, destruction, bombings, killings and various other crimes being experienced by our people for the past twenty years, and some are still exerting efforts to extend the presence of foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan and to prolong the ongoing conflict.”

The group said if the Doha agreement, signed in February between the US and the Taliban, is implemented, it will prove beneficial and in the interest of everyone including Afghans but if it was not adhered to there would be repercussions.

“…if some discard the Doha accord and keep searching for excuses to continue the war and protract the occupation, then history has proven that the Afghan Mujahid nation can valiantly defend its values, soil, homeland and rights,” the statement read.