Said T. Jawad’s interview for the Tatar-Inform

The Ambassador of Afghanistan to the Russian Federation, Said Tayeb Jawad, has arrived in Tatarstan. In his interview, he spoke about the war, the withdrawal of American troops, as well as participation in the celebration of Eid al-Adha and the fate of the Tatars of Afghanistan.

“Tatarstan is an example of the coexistence of modernity and spirituality”

– Your Excellency, your visit to Tatarstan is taking place at a difficult time for Afghanistan. Perhaps you can tell us about the current situation in the country?

— First of all, I would like to express my gratitude and say that I am very glad to be in Tatarstan. I have long wanted to visit your republic, because there is a fairly large Tatar community in Afghanistan. In addition, Tatarstan is an excellent example of the harmonious coexistence of modernity and spirituality.

 Afghanistan is really going through difficult times. Despite this, we must expand cooperation with other countries, adopt their experience in order to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan. This war has been going on for more than one year, during this time we have seen both ups and downs, but we are firmly confident that peace and stability will come to Afghanistan.

 — How much do the official authorities control the territory of the country?

 — During the two months of the Taliban’s military campaign (the organization is banned on the territory of the Russian Federation), we ceded part of the territories to them. Despite this, we continue to consolidate our forces, paying special attention to large cities and main highways. In addition, the people of Afghanistan are involved in the defense of their country. That is, in this confrontation, we are counting on both military forces and our own people. We also believe that a system based on the ideas of the Taliban is not acceptable for anyone, including Russia.

 — How do you feel about the withdrawal of the US armed forces from the territory of Afghanistan?

 — We knew that one day foreign forces would leave the territory of Afghanistan, therefore, we had to be ready to take responsibility for the country. At the same time, we are watching with some surprise the speed with which the process of withdrawal of troops is proceeding. Now we are more focused on our region, as well as other countries, including Russia, in order to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.

 — The next round of negotiations was held in Doha the other day: did it somehow bring the parties closer to solving the accumulated problems?

 — We did not see a sincere intention on the part of the Taliban to build a constructive dialogue, and, frankly, we do not see that any significant progress has been made.

At the same time, we know that the region and other countries, including Russia, are not happy about the unfolding confrontation. They are against the return of the Taliban, and they still view it as a terrorist organization.

Now everything suggests that the only way to resolve the Afghan conflict is a peaceful settlement through negotiations. But even if everything comes down to a military solution, the Taliban will not be able to take the helm, because neither the people of Afghanistan, nor the region, nor other countries will tolerate them.

 “I will remember this trip to Tatarstan for a long time”

  — Now I would like to talk in more detail about your visit to Tatarstan. First of all, we can’t help but ask if you managed to attend the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Kazan. What are your impressions?

  — I felt at home in Tatarstan. I was lucky enough to get acquainted with the hospitality of the Tatar people, enjoy very tasty national cuisine, as well as the beautiful Kazan. What is even more important is the amazing hospitality and friendliness of the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. It was an honor for me to take part in the prayer during the holiday of Eid al-Adha with him. I will remember this trip for a long time.

 I would also like to note that in addition to participating in the celebration, a lot of work was done during my visit.

 — I would like to know the details.

 — As I have already mentioned, there is a large Tatar community in Afghanistan. In this regard, we have appealed to the President of Tatarstan with a request for support in providing opportunities for training Tatars of Afghanistan. In addition, we visited Innopolis, where we also discussed the issue of providing training opportunities for residents of Afghanistan in general and local Tatars in particular.

We also discussed with the President of the Republic of Tatarstan and heads of institutions specific areas of economic cooperation, including trade and investment in the field of petrochemicals.

I would like to note that we would like to cooperate more actively in the field of IT technologies, since Tatarstan is a leader in this industry. We must develop this direction, as it guarantees modern jobs for young citizens. This is the reason for our visit to Innopolis and Himgrad.

 — Mr. Ambassador, we managed to find out that now the Tatars living in the north of Afghanistan are forced to defend their territories and families with weapons in their hands. And they are extremely concerned about the lack of support from the current government. Is official Afghanistan ready to come to their aid?

— First of all, it is worth noting that more than 100 thousand Tatars live in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to collect more accurate statistics — not only for the Tatars, but also for other peoples — because of the war. Tatars live in 11 of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, which is almost 1/3 of the country.

I don’t know which Tatar community in Afghanistan you contacted, but I understand when they say that they are looking for support. And I hope that this kind of support will be provided by friends from Tatarstan, Moscow and so on. The problem is that the challenges of war exist for absolutely everyone. At the same time, the Tatars are recognized by the Constitution and the law of Afghanistan as a national minority, therefore, they will be provided with assistance on equal terms.

 Actually, this is my mission here in Tatarstan: we are looking for different ways to solve existing problems through cooperation in education, the economy and the creation of new jobs. In my opinion, instead of short-term alms from international partners, we should focus on education and training so that people can get on their own feet and live a better life. Of course, financial support is important, but, as they say: than to give a person a fish, it is better to teach him to fish.