asiaNet Q & A
EurasiaNet: Some people in the United States suggest that moderate Taliban leaders could be incorporated into future governmental structures in Afghanistan. Have you met Taliban representatives who you view as moderate?
Nouri: We don't know the Taliban. We had only one meeting with Mullah [Mohammed] Omar. We don't have any other relationship with them, and we don't know any moderate or non-moderate representatives of them.
EurasiaNet: Can you tell us about that meeting?
Nouri: In 1997, a group of [Tajik] parliamentarians was on a UN's plane that took off from Mashad [in Iran] to Tahor [province in Afghanistan]. When we were over Afghan territory, Taliban military planes forced us to land in Shindan military airport [in southwestern Afghanistan]. We were taken to Kandahar, where we met Mullah Omar, and even became his guests for one night.
EurasiaNet: What did you discuss with Mullah Omar?
Nouri: My meeting with Mullah Omar had three parts. The first part was an introduction. They wanted to find out what we were, i.e. did we belong to Islam or not. If we were Muslims, were we then Sunni or Shi'ia? If we were Sunni, which particular school we belonged to? In short, those long discussions we had all together, and they had separately with each of us. [They] clarified that we were Sunnis and belonged to Hanafi school. The second part was on the aims of the Islamic Renaissance Party. We said that our aims are to gain a healthy belief, freedom and independence for our country.