Taliban Propaganda Ploy: Demand UN Assistance

The Taliban embassy in Pakistan issued a written statement admonishing the United Nations for not doing enough to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and demanding that it provide more relief. “It is unfortunate that the UN does not realize the problems of the Afghan nation,” the statement read. Ironically, the Taliban pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its appeal to the UN. The statement even publishes the Internet address for the declaration, although the Taliban has banned use of the Internet in Afghanistan. Critics call the statement a propaganda ploy to curry favor and sympathy from Muslim countries in the United Nations.

The United Nations has provided the bulk of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. After September 11, UN workers pulled out of Afghanistan because of safety concerns. Afghans have been staffing those operations, which have continued. The Taliban claims that the UN’s safety concerns are “totally baseless.” The Taliban, however, has raided two UN food warehouses last month, has threatened UN workers, and has stolen UN property.


New York Times, 11/06/01

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