'Like Coke and Pepsi': Afghan Vice-President Says No Difference Between Al-Qaeda, Taliban
© AP Photo / Rahmat GulTaliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021
© AP Photo / Rahmat Gul
The vice president is among the few remaining members of the Afghanistan government in exile who has continued fighting the Taliban*, which seized control of Kabul on 15 August, following a successful blitz offensive.
Afghanistan Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, in an interview with Fox News, drew parallels between terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Daesh and the Taliban, suggesting there was little to no difference between them. The politician, one of the last members of the Afghan government continuing to fight the Taliban, compared them to two popular soft drinks, "Coke and Pepsi", as, like the three above-mentioned terrorist groups, the sugar-laced US-made carbonated drinks taste just the same.
"Ideologically, the difference between ISIS*, al-Qaida and the Taliban is the difference between the taste of Coke and Pepsi. If you remove the labels, can you say which one is Coke and which one is Pepsi?" Saleh remarked.
Saleh stressed that the Taliban cannot be trusted, possibly referring to a 2020 US peace deal with the group under which the insurgents agreed to prevent al-Qaeda from setting foot in territories under its control. The Afghan vice-president argued that the Taliban believes only that their "Jihadist literature will prevail".
The Taliban claimed that it seeks only to bring peace to Afghanistan, as well as the modeling of its rule under a conservative vision dictated by the group's understanding of Sharia law. While the core Taliban organisation seeks no territorial additional gain, some of its affiliate branches appear to be interested in conquering Pashtun-populated areas of nearby Pakistan.
Contrary to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, its long-time ally and 'guest' in Afghanistan, and Daesh, sought to install a Sharia-based caliphate on the entire planet and all of humanity
*Al-Qaeda, Daesh (also known as ISIS) and the Taliban are terrorist organisations outlawed in Russia and many other nations.