South Asia

Transcript of Siraj Haqqani's interview

Siraj Haqqani, a key leader of Afghanistan's militant Haqqani network, tells the BBC in an exclusive interview it was not responsible for killing Burhanuddin Rabbani, the man overseeing Taliban peace talks in Afghanistan. Mr Haqqani was giving an audio response to written questions from the BBC.

Were you involved in Burhanuddin Rabbani's assassination?

With regard to your first question, I should say that in Burhanuddin Rabbani's assassination, we have no involvement and this is also what the Islamic Emirate's [the name the Taliban gave to Afghanistan when they took control in 1996] spokespersons have already expressed.

Were you involved in the attack on the US embassy in Kabul?

The attack on the US embassy, on Nato headquarters and similar other attacks, planning and execution are carried out by the Islamic Emirate's military council; it's nothing to do with any individual or group, all planning and execution are being done by the military council.

Do you have any links with the ISI (Pakistan's intelligence agency)?

During the Soviet invasion, not only us, but all mujahideen had connections with the Pakistani ISI. But for now, there are no such links that could be beneficial to the mujahideen, right from the first day of the American arrival till this day; not only Pakistan, but other Islamic countries, and other non-Islamic countries, including America, contacted us and they are still doing so.

They are asking us to leave the ranks of the Islamic Emirate, [they say] they will give us important contributions to the government of Afghanistan, they are also proposing negotiations; but every time, our response is to go and contact the Islamic Emirate's political commission because we are [only] carrying responsibilities for a particular military area, and we also know they don't mean peace, they want to divide the Islamic Emirate's ranks. But thank God, our mujahid nation now know their bad intentions.

Do you have any links with al-Qaeda?

On links with al-Qaeda, the policy of the Islamic Emirate is very clear - please refer to it.

Do you have any links with [the Hizb-e-Islami militia of former Prime Minister Gulbuddin] Hekmatyar and other groups?

On links with Hekmatyar and other groups, the policy of the Islamic Emirate is very clear - please refer to it.

What are your plans for Afghanistan's future and peace negotiations?

In every message from the Islamic Emirate and especially in the latest message by Ameerul Momeenin [Mullah Omar], this has been very extensively covered, you should not expect us to say anything other than what Ameerul Momeenin has said.

What are your relations with Mullah Omar?

Ameerul Momeenin Mullah Omar is our leader and we follow him, we have responsibility for certain areas within the Islamic Emirate's administration and accordingly follow instructions. In every military operation, the Emirate gives us a plan, guide and financial support. We conduct it thoroughly. There is no question of a separate party or group.

What every mujahideen needs, like food and costs, has been provided for by the leadership of the Emirate. So the media should not say whatever our enemy is saying so they can divide us.

For the past 10 years, the enemy has been trying to divide us or at least make sure people are concerned and our holy struggle gets a bad name; sometimes they call us ISI and sometimes they are calling us a separate group; they are doing this to hide their defeat and confuse ordinary people.

Afghans don't have good memories of [political] parties, so I advise people not to listen to the enemy at this crucial stage of jihad; they should continue with their support of the Islamic Emirate.

Our advice for the people and government of Pakistan is that they should carefully note the American double standard and irreconcilable policy. They should give precedence to their national and Islamic interests. They should take [it as a given] that the Americans will never be satisfied until they loot them completely.