Russian envoy: Taliban is not a ‘terrorist organization’

Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, has argued that the Taliban should not be considered a terrorist organization, asserting that it has become “part of the international community.”

In an interview with The Tribune, an Indian media outlet, Kabulov emphasized that Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations should be granted to the Taliban. “It’s time for us to build normal relations with the Taliban to promote bilateral relations and help them maintain regional stability, which is very important not only for Russia but for all regional states, including India,” he suggested.

Kabulov noted that Russia was in contact with the Taliban even before their takeover of Kabul in August 2021. When questioned about human rights and women’s rights, Kabulov stated that the Taliban “should mind their own country.” He added, “Who am I or you to lecture them on how to build their nation and society? Perhaps those who are running Afghanistan now may dislike the ways society is managed in my country, but they never dared to lecture us and never demanded us to change it. Why should we do it?”

This stance has drawn criticism from Afghan women’s rights activists and international human rights advocates, who argue that some countries are engaging with the Taliban for their own benefits while ignoring the realities of oppression under Taliban rule. Since returning to power, the Taliban has imposed over 50 decrees restricting women and girls’ access to basic rights, including education and employment.