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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: Society of Afghan Residents Wants Attacks Stopped

Aired October 12, 2001 - 05:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: So let's talk more about the impact on the Afghan people. As I said before President Bush has tried to clearly state that this war is not against the Afghan people, so we want to bring into this discussion Sayed Ishaq Tabibi. He is with the Society of Afghan Residents and he comes to us live this morning from our London bureau.

Good morning. Thanks for joining us this morning.

SAYED ISHAQ TABIBI, SOCIETY OF AFGHAN RESIDENTS: Good morning to you.

LIN: Last night President Bush held his first nationwide news conference and he clearly stated that what this is, is a campaign against terror. It is to bring terrorists to justice, and I'm wondering what your reaction is so far on the American-led airstrikes over Afghanistan.

TABIBI: Our reaction is outrage because innocent Afghan people have been killed and terrorized by these attacks, and it won't help to bring the terrorists to justice because it's going to create another Civil War - another guerrilla war in Afghanistan by attacking Afghanistan by the allied forces.

LIN: Mr. Tabibi, since we're getting conflicting reports as well of the number of civilians being injured or killed or whether any civilians are being injured or killed. What is your information?

TABIBI: We have received information, phone calls from Kabul that there were civilian casualties and there were people leaving Kabul because of the airstrikes and bombings and people are afraid to stay in the city. That - don't forget that that city is - has got a population of over one million people and they have already suffered enough for the last 23 years, and they are innocent people.

LIN: Well do you believe that the United States is intentionally targeting civilians as the ruling Taliban has claimed?

TABIBI: I'm not saying that intentionally they are targeting, but they - the bombs are not as accurate as they claim. We have seen them in the past and they are not as accurate and it's going to be - a lot of civilian is going to be hit.

LIN: So what do you think the solution is here?

TABIBI: The solution is immediately to stop the attack on Afghanistan and let the United Nations and possibly the Organization for Islamic Conference to help and facilitate the former king of Afghanistan, who had a process of replacing Taliban and bringing an acceptable and nationally respectable government for Afghanistan and that process was on its way, which the attack interrupted - that process and makes much more harder for Afghans now to join this process.

LIN: Well why - how is it that the United Nations could be a broker of diplomacy in this particular case because the U.N. representative for Afghanistan is actually the ruler or the president that Taliban ousted. I mean the United Nations has already taken a position as to who it sees as being the legitimate government representative there.

TABIBI: I'm surprised how you call them legitimate government when they're controlling 10 percent - 10 percent of the Afghan territory and they have shown their history since '92 - up to '96 how they govern Afghanistan. There was no security. There was lawless, there was infighting among themselves, and they are not representing the majority of people.

Had they presented the majority of Afghan people they wouldn't have ruled on 10 percent. They would have ruled on 90 percent. I'm not saying the Taliban are representing Afghanistan - Afghan people. None of them are representing Afghan people, so we are urging the world to help us to create a system - a government who is respectable; who is acceptable; and who's after one year or two years, who is going to bring the atmosphere for electing a government.

LIN: Then what do you make then of the Taliban's offer then to put Osama bin Laden on trial and give the United States the ability to present evidence against Osama bin Laden? Do you think that the Taliban is capable of conducting a fair trial in this case and do you think they would even be willing to bring Osama bin Laden ...

(CROSSTALK)

LIN: ... to court?

TABIBI: I don't believe whatever the Taliban are saying because they haven't put the national interest of Afghanistan before anything else. So whatever they are saying now is too late for Afghan people. Because of their policies Afghanistan is being hit. Afghanistan is being attacked.

So I don't believe that they are going to bring - to take Afghanistan out of this situation.

LIN: All right. Thank you very much, Sayed Ishaq Tabibi for joining us this morning. He is with the Society of Afghan Residents.

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