Interesting interview with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan No2, Mullah Barodar Akhund (aka Abdul Ghani). The interview was published in Pashto by the Peshawar Afghan Islamic Press and translated by the US government's Open Source Center. It was published by Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.
The interview was carried out by email and first published on 31 December. Mullah Barodar points out that 2009 was a very successful year for the mojahedin: "The casualties and financial and losses they inflicted on the invaders could be found in reports, speeches and announcements of the Pentagon and other Western sources, who said the casualties of the past
seven years has been equal to the losses and casualties of the current year. That means the current year has been the bloodiest year full of calamities and fears for them in the past eight years which is a great achievement of the mojahedin."
In answer to a question about Western attempts to differentiate between the Islamic Emirate and al-Qaeda, Barodar is cagey, emphasising that the current jihad is led by Mullah Omar and that "what the international community says about separating the Taliban an al-Qaeda is meaningless, it is just a pretext."
He denies that either the Taliban or al-Qaeda leadership are in Pakistan. And he also denies that any Taliban leaders have been talking to the Afghan government. When the interviewer
specifically asks him about the activities of Abdullah Anas - an Algerian former mojahedin who is known to have been involved in talks with elements of the Taliban - Barodar denies it explicitly. "We have neither permitted anyone to negotiate nor do we have any representative by the name of Abdullah Anas."
He sticks to the usual Taliban line, which is to say that negotiations can only take place once foreign forces have left the country. Asked how under a Taliban government he will guarantee that no-one will use Afghanistan to prepare attacks on another country, he gives the less-than-reassuring answer: "We had given the world such an assurance also during the Islamic Emirate's previous era. We have and will have the same stance in the future as well."