Ambassador A.G. Ravan Farhadi
Permanent Representative of the Islamic State of Afghanistan
to the United Nations
The United Nation General Assembly
at its 56th Session
New York NY
November 14, 2001
At the outset, on behalf of the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my profound condolences to the Government of the United States of America and the American nation as well as the families who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate crash of American Airline flight 587 yesterday.
My delegation is very much delighted upon your assumption of the presidency for this 56th session of the General Assembly and remains assured that your able conduct would lead the work to this session to its desired end.
My delegation is also much pleased on the meritorious winning by Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the Noble Peace Prize this year, upon which I wish to warmly congratulate him and his fellow recipient of the prize, the United Nations.
The appalling events of September 11 and the somewhat lesser known events of September 9, assassination of Ahmad Shah Masood have changed the world. The United Nations, International Community and the world at large are focusing on the new war, the war on terrorism. My government and the people of Afghanistan denounced the terrorist attacks against the U.S. and continue to denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations - we ourselves have been captives and hostages of terrorism longer than most. In fact for 23 years of war in Afghanistan, Muslim Afghans have not engaged in terrorist acts. Islam is an integral part of life in Afghanistan and teaches justice, respect for human life and glorifies the dignity of human beings.
I quote from the Holy Quran:
"We have bestowed dignity to the children of Adam," (sura 17, verse 70)
Islam, in the tradition of the Abrahamic faiths, places great emphasis on peace, compassion and the value of human life. As such, Islam should be recognized for the principles upon which it was created and not the acts of irresponsible interpretations, which is far from genuine Islam. These irresponsible interpretations are based on primitive and sectarian thinking especially the retrogressive policies against women, which have no place in Islam.
With the strong broad global coalition on their side, today the people of Afghanistan have been vindicated in their righteous struggle against terrorism and extremism. A struggle pursued single handily but valiantly over past seven years against terrorist forces of the Taliban mercenaries and their cross-border and international allies, chief among them, Osama bin Laden Al-Qaida terrorist organization.
In this most trying time when the people of Afghanistan are being liberated from the rule of Taliban, and wherein said Taliban forces are fleeing strategic cities across our land including the capital Kabul, it is evident that the civilian inhabitants of these cities and the people of Afghanistan as a whole, having offered their support to the liberating forces of Islamic State of Afghanistan's United Front, re deserving in the fullest measure of a government to whom their welfare can be soundly entrusted.
On Tuesday, November the 13th, in a series of events rapidly taking
shape in and around Kabul, wherein the Taliban mercenaries and their terrorist
allies were thought to be holding ground, abandoned the city in a hasty
manner causing a power vacuum.
With the capital Kabul literally falling on the verge of chaos and mayhem, the government forces were left with no other option but to dispatch a limited number of police force into the city. The decision to police the city preceded eyewitness reports of looting the National Bank assets and plundering of the city main currency market a number of aid agencies by the retreating Taliban forces.
We deeply regret any ill treatment of individuals that may have occurred in isolated cases. We have ordered our security authorities to, not only refrain from but to actively investigate any such acts that may have been committed and to avert such incidents from taking place in the future. Let me reiterate our desire for peace, for all people in our land remains firm and we will not, now nor later, condone any lawless acts aimed at disrupting the crucial process of instituting a broad-based, mutli-ethnic and fully representative government in Afghanistan, as called for by the United Nations and the entire international community.
The Islamic State of Afghanistan rejoices the new developments as a victory not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for the international community in our shared campaign against terrorism.
Let me assure that the recent gaining of ground by the forces of the
Islamic State of Afghanistan's United Front in Kabul, would in no way reflect
an intention on the part of the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan
to monopolize power. Rather it is our sincere hope that the people of Afghanistan
will democratically decide in the near future what form of political system
In this context, we steadfastly support the United Nations resolutions on Afghanistan and thereby recommendations made by the Secretary General Special Envoy to Afghanistan and will do our utmost for the implementation of the process.
The Islamic State of Afghanistan fully honors its agreement in Rome with the former King of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and remains committed to its implementation.
Today Afghanistan finds itself in a major humanitarian crisis. A crisis that the world has not witnessed in recent times. With winter approaching our people are facing famine - our people will die because they do not have enough food to sustain them through the winter. Many aid agencies began leaving Afghanistan after it became evident that the bombing campaign would begin.
It is time for the international community to recognize the horror and
terror that the people of Afghanistan have been continuously facing for
so many years.
Over the past several years tens of thousand of civilian population has either fled the county or has been internally displaced. The people of Afghanistan are not asking for a favor. They first to be placed back in the position they were before the 1978 - a level playing field where they can govern themselves and grow. 20 million landmines, a nonexistent infrastructure and massive illiteracy rate is not a level playing field. Even a fraction of the benefits bestowed on the international community by the Afghans sacrifices can reconstruct our nation.
Today we are tasked with finding a solution for Afghanistan even as
problems continue to increase and change on a day to day basis. But we
must now, not later, think about the people of Afghanistan and think about
giving them peace after so many years of war.
A broad-based government, inter alia, through a Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) must be established. In this broad-based government all ethnic groups must be equally represented and given a voice. The Hazaras, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Aimaks, Turkmen, Balouch and all other ethnic groups of Afghanistan must have fair representation in this broad-based government.
All of these groups make up what Afghanistan is today and Afghanistan is not complete without any of these groups. For centuries, all of these groups have lived peacefully amongst themselves without bloodshed and each one has contributed to Afghanistan and each one has sacrificed tremendously in the resistance against repeated foreign occupations. For centuries, all these groups resisted as united people against any foreign hegemonic force. History has shown that Afghanistan is not for foreign occupation or conquest. Foreign conquest will only be instrumental to unite the people of Afghanistan.
The Islamic State of Afghanistan's United Front wants the rule of law based on Islamic tenants, pluralistic democracy, fundamental human rights, peace, unification and meaningful reconstruction. At our core we wish to uphold human rights for all peoples in our land, men and women. We desire to abide by the United Nations resolutions, rule of law, recognized international norms and principles. We highly appreciate the efforts being made by the United Nations aimed at finding a solution for Afghanistan and we support all the United Nations endeavors in measures to combat international terrorism.
The future government of Afghanistan must not be subjected any more to the unilateralism that has blanketed it for so long. The nation of Afghanistan must have, as any nation must have, the respect and sincere cooperation of its neighbors. The future government of Afghanistan must not be reduced to a "sphere of influence", but must be recognized as a sovereign nation in the truest sense. Self-determination for Afghanistan means that no country of the world should have a veto concerning what the Afghans decide for themselves.
Recognition principles of mutual respect, non-interference and full sovereignty of Afghanistan will naturally be followed by economic and commercial cooperation. A sovereign Afghanistan will deploy all efforts to broaden its relations with all of its neighbors including Pakistan -such measures as opening up to Pakistan. Such measures as opening up key transit routes, from north to south and east to west. Afghanistan has to broaden its economic relations with all neighboring countries. The crossroads at the heart of Asia are situated in Afghanistan and our country's economic and international development rests largely in utilizing this resource in progressive and open manner.
I need not remind you in this day that a stable Afghanistan means a stable Pakistan and a stable Central Asia. The meaning of an ignored and ruined Afghanistan is a calamity for the entire region and the whole world.
The people of Afghanistan must decide what form of government they desire. No one ethnic group must dominate and no neighbor of Afghanistan has the right to incite overtly or covertly one ethnic group against others. It is time for the people of Afghanistan to think about their future and come together. They must all work together for their country as they have worked for centuries before. It is my aspiration and the aspiration of every Afghan that normalcy will be restored and we live in peace.
We the Islamic State of Afghanistan, we the United Nations and the International Community have a duty to rebuild Afghanistan. There must be an extensive and comprehensive United Nations led reconstruction plan for Afghanistan. The International community must take the reconstruction of Afghanistan as seriously as it takes the war on terrorism. I submit to you that reconstruction and hope to a people will do more to eradicate evils such as, terrorism and the seeds of terrorism than perhaps war ever can.
Rehabilitation must begin by addressing humanitarian problems and the immediate internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugee crisis. The longer term Afghan Reconstruction Program must be comprehensive and address all aspects. Roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and universities for boys and girls must be constructed. The girls were purposely made illiterate by the Taliban mercenaries. A massive education effort must be undertaken so that our people can learn skills and grow up to be the new generation for our country. The 20 million landmines must be cleared so the people can cultivate their land and not rely on poppy to make a living. There must be a program for the orphans and widows in the Afghan Reconstruction Program. The Afghan Reconstruction Program must directly help the war-stricken and war-devastated people of Afghanistan. Afghans of the diaspora from all over the world must come and take part in this Afghan Reconstruction Program and help build their county. With the help of Almighty God, I believe we can rebuild Afghanistan and once again Afghanistan can live in peace with its neighbors and contribute to the international conununity.
I appeal to United Nations and the international community to adopt a new vision for Afghanistan. A vision that will leave behind the death and destruction that has seized her people for so many years and adopt instead a vision that embraces tolerance and unity to rebuild its spirit and give each and every person of our land the hope of peace.
The change must come from within each person who calls himself a Muslim and an Afghan and it must also come from each country that calls herself a friend of Afghanistan.
Our friends and neighbors must grant us the goodwill to govern ourselves and be our own people.