Vienna Conference ends with call for ‘methodical integration’ of anti-Taliban groups

Taliban opposition figures have ended their two day conference in Vienna with a call for anti-Taliban forces to come together through a “methodical integration” in order to challenge the group’s rule in Afghanistan.

In a closing statement the attendees said that “Afghanistan has become a wretched for its inhabitants” under the Taliban.

The Taliban, they said, “have not heeded to the legitimate and rightful demands of the people of Afghanistan.” Adding that they had formed a “Working Group” in order to “help establish ways and means for strengthening cooperation and coordination among and between resistance entities and to develop a road map for reaching our common goals.”

“While we consider negotiation and a peaceful political solution to be the best option but given the non-changing policies and practices of the Taliban so far, we support all forms of resistance struggle against the Taliban, including armed resistance, and will strive to expand and strengthen them. We also ask that the international community recognize the legitimacy of all forms of resistance by the peoples of Afghanistan.”

The attendees call on the International Criminal Court to “identify and prosecute those Taliban leaders and commanders who have committed crimes against humanity and grossly violated human rights.”

They further call on the Organisation for the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to condemn the Taliban’s “un-Islamic policies and practices”.

Hosted by the Austrian Institute for International Affair, the leader of the National Resistance Front (NRF), Ahmad Massoud, former Foreign Minister, Rangin Dadfar Spanta and former member of parliament, Fawzia Kofi, were among the key attendees of the conference.