This blog aims to highlight issues and information that don't always make it into the mainstream media. Recognising that comment is cheap, wherever possible it will link you directly to documents and sources that are mentioned in the text.
I realised some time ago that it was impossible to write about Afghanistan without writing about Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. With that in mind, the reader will come across articles that, while not specifically about Afghanistan, in some way shed light on the conflict.
Words from Sirajuddin Haqqani, commander of Afghan Taliban forces in Paktia, Khost and Paktika, are rare, so it is worth taking a look at an interview he has given to the pro-jihadi al-Balagh Media Centre. The interview, released on 13 April and now translated into English, reveals little of interest, although it is significant to see the extent to which Haqqani emphasises the importance of propaganda: "The Internet Jihadists need to raise their level and organize themselves more, and come together, and increase their research, and publish their materials. They also need to be up to date, and they need to be fast with spreading the news from Islamic Jihadist world quickly, and release the messages from the commanders of Jihad. The goal is for their work to be something with a strong exclusive presence, they need to make the other (non-Jihadist) media agencies be asking for them, and not us asking for them. The Mujahideen need to help them, and the Jihadist movements need to increase their distributing of Jihadist material (statements, interviews etc...), and most importantly the official video releases. In addition, the general Muslim people need to help them financially, technically and by all other means. Internet Jihad networks are something we need to be proud of, and respect, the fact is that they are doing a great job." The intereview was conducted by Fadil Abu Dujanah San'aani, who is probably a Yemeni. Haqqani emphasises in his interview that Arab fighters are welcome to fight with his forces against NATO. "They lighten our paths and resist the cross-worshipers in cooperation with us and we are with them in the same trench," he says.